Human Resources

Graduate Assistants (GAs)

Under immediate supervision, the Graduate Assistant assists a regular faculty member or the teaching staff with various professional and technical duties associated generally with the subjects or programs in which the assistant is doing graduate work. This work should not take precedence over the successful completion of the graduate degree program by the student in a timely manner.

The Graduate Assistant is distinguished from those classifications used for undergraduate student help in the instructional program who perform clerical or other routine tasks such as grading examinations, recording grades, etc., by the following:

  • Graduate Assistants are provided part-time employment and practical experience in fields related to their advanced study.
  • Graduate Assistants provide professional non-teaching assistance to faculty members.

Graduate Assistant work may involve supervising students in a classroom, workshop, or laboratory (where final responsibility for the class and its entire instruction, including the performance of the Graduate Assistant, is vested in a member of the faculty); training students in the use of equipment or other resources; assisting faculty with research and preparation of course materials; participating in the evaluation of students’ work; tutoring students; and other related work.

Graduate Assistants are not responsible for the instructional content of a course, selecting student assignments, planning of examinations, determining the term grade for students, instructing the entire enrollment of a course, or providing the entire instruction of a group of students enrolled in a course. Graduate Assistants may not be employed to assist in a course in which he/she is enrolled, nor should they be consulted regarding the grading of their peers.

Typical activities of Graduate Assistants may include: (1) assisting in the instruction of students by conducting small discussion groups related to large lecture or television courses and the like, supervising laboratory periods, workshops, production courses or other course activities, assisting by handling equipment, performing demonstrations, maintaining office hours to provide direct individual contact between student and graduate assistant, clarifying course material or course content for students; (2) providing assistance to faculty conducting authorized research by collecting and arranging data, developing source materials, summarizing reports, searching the literature and compiling bibliographies, developing and operating research equipment, preparing and caring for research materials, assisting in the conduct of experiments, etc.; and/or (3) generally assisting faculty in evaluating student work and examinations; preparing course materials and aids, or performing other functions requiring knowledge and background beyond that generally possessed by undergraduate assistants.