Policies on Employment of Graduate Students

AS-2635-03/FA - November 13-14, 2003

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (CSU) advise campus senates to develop or, as appropriate, to review and update campus policies on the training, hiring, course assignments, supervision and evaluation of graduate students employed as graduate assistants, and teaching associates; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge that these policies reflect both the CSU Classification and Qualification Standards for hiring graduate students and existing agreements between CSU and the California Faculty Association (CFA) covering use of graduate students.

RATIONALE: In recent years campuses have placed increased emphasis on strengthening the quality of their graduate programs, concomitantly drawing attention to the support of graduate students, including their employment as teaching associates and graduate assistants.

Due to current budget exigencies, there appears to be an acceleration in the use of graduate students as graduate assistants and teaching associates. To maintain the quality of undergraduate instruction in a period in which there are pressures to erode it (e.g., through increased student-faculty ratios), it is vital that departments review and adhere to established policies and, as necessary, that campus senates update campus policies on training, supervision, evaluation, and work assignments of graduate students employed as teaching associates or graduate assistants.

Although graduate students can develop teaching skills and enhance their graduate experience by serving as classroom instructors, they need preparation and careful supervision when they become instructors of record. They must also demonstrate that they can meet the challenges of post-baccalaureate study and increase their own knowledge of their disciplines before entering the classrooms on the "other side of the desk." Finally they must demonstrate that they can maintain progress toward timely completion of their degree programs with the requisite grade point average (GPA) while providing instruction. Only when these conditions are met can they contribute effectively to the high quality instruction CSU promises its undergraduate students and thereby uphold the primary mission of the CSU.

Web sites that may be useful include:

Chancellor's Office Policies:
Graduate Assistant Classification and Employment Policy   http://www.calstate.edu/HRAdm/Policies/HR2001-20.pdf   http://www.calstate.edu/HrAdm/pdf/E99/Graduate_Assistant.pdf

Teaching Associate Letter and Class Standard   http://www.calstate.edu/HRAdm/policies/HR2002-06.pdf
Examples of Local Campus Policies:
San Diego State University's Policy:
San Jose State University's Policy:

APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY - January 22-23, 2004

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