Graduate teaching assistantship offers are contingent on satisfactory completion of an English language proficiency assessment, unless the applicant completed their entire elementary and secondary education in English in a country in which English is the predominant Language. As stated in Missouri statute 170.012 and University policy, non-native speakers of English must have sufficient oral-English proficiency before taking on a teaching assistantship. International graduate teaching assistants who have no direct contact with students (e.g., responsible only for grading assignments) are not required to complete the language proficiency assessment. If the assistantship involves direct contact with students, then offers of funding are contingent up the international student successfully passing Mizzou’s Assessment of Classroom Communication Skills (MACCS) oral speaking test at the level needed for the teaching assignment. The MACCS is given each month and additional dates are provided at the end of each semester. When testing must be expedited, the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) ( will work with academic departments to accommodate their needs. 

Scores on Mizzou’s Assessment of Classroom Communication Skills (MACCS) test range from 1 (weak English language proficiency) to 4 (excellent English language proficiency).  The teaching duties that are permitted for each MACCS score are stated below, along with the TOEFL speaking score equivalent

MACCS TOEFL Speaking Score TA duties
Level 1 <24 May not be employed in any teaching role
Level 2 24-25 May be permitted to probationally teach Stat 1200 lab/discussions
Level 3 26-27 Preferred proficiency to teach Stat 1200 lab/discussions
Level 4 28 Eligible to teach sections of Stat 2500 or 3500 as primary instructor

English Proficiency classes are offered through the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP). If a student receives a score of less than 4 on the MACCS test, the ITAP staff will recommend classes to help improve the student’s English proficiency. For more information on the ITAP program, see the ITAP web site.  In order to be considered for support from the Department of Statistics, students must continue taking the recommended English language classes through ITAP and must re-take the MACCS test as recommended by ITAP.

Contact Info

Lori Thombs
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

General Inquiries: