California State University, Long Beach

  Policy Statement

96-21
November 1, 1996




Employment of Graduate Students as Student Assistants,
Graduate Assistants, and Teaching Associates

This Policy Statement was approved by the Academic Senate on May 16, 1996
and approved by the President on October 24, 1996.

(This policy supersedes Policy Statement 95-03.)

California State University, Long Beach offers employment as Student Assistants, Graduate Assistants and Teaching Associates to a limited number of graduate students. The primary purpose of each type of employment is to help graduate students pay for the cost of their graduate studies. Therefore, employment of graduate students by the University must never be allowed to impede those students in the pursuit of their own primary objective, which is the expeditious completion of their graduate programs. Further, the employment of graduate students by the University must never be allowed to reduce the quality of education received by undergraduate students at the University.

1.000 To be employed as a Student Assistant, Graduate Assistant, or Teaching Associate, a graduate student must be qualified in terms of adequate course work and other training appropriate for the duties and must be enrolled at CSULB in course(s) applicable to the student's graduate program or prerequisites courses, which are approved by the department in which the degree is to be awarded, and must be making nommal progress toward the degree. Current IRS regulations specify that to qualify for tax-exempt status, a graduate student employed as a student assistant must be primarily a student and only incidentally an employee. The University interprets this requirement to mean that a graduate student employed as a student assistant must be enrolled in at least 6 units, unless that graduate student has iess than 6 units remaining to be completed on the graduate program or fewer than 6 units on the graduate program are being offered. A graduate student who does not meet this requirement may not be employed in the student assistant classification. If a graduate student fails to maintain enrollment in course work as specified in this section, the student's appointment will be terminated immediately in the case of a Student Assistant or a Graduate Assistant, or not renewed at the end of the semester in the case of a Teaching Associate. A Teaching Associate whose appointment is not renewed because of a failure to maintain enrollment will not be eligible for further employment as a Teaching Associate until one full semester has passed.

2.000 Empioyment of a graduate student as a Student Assistant is limited to 20 hours per week during the Spring and Fall semesters. At all other times, such employment is limited to 40 hours per week.

3.000 Employment of a graduate student as a Graduate Assistant is for 10 hours (a half-time appointment) or 20 hours (a full-time appointment) per week.

4.000 A limited number of outstanding graduate students may be employed as Teaching Associates. Teaching Associates are normally employed to teach lower-division laboratory or discussion sections under the direct supervision of the faculty member assigned to deliver the lectures in the same course. Employment of Teaching Associates to teach upper-division laboratory or upper-division discussion sections is rare on this campus and is discouraged. A Teaching Associate may also be employed to teach a lecture or lecture-discussion course where the following conditions are met: (1 ) the course is at the lower-division level; (2) the graduate student has adequate training and demonstrated competence in the subject matter of the course to be taught; (3) the teaching experience is designed specifically to help graduate students improve their command of pedagogical techniques; and (4) the graduate students are supervised directly by a faculty member and are provided evaluative feedback on a regular basis. Graduate students may not be employed simply as a less expensive replacement for temporary faculty. The Graduate Council and the Planning and Educational Policies Council shall monitor compliance with paragraph 4.000 through the program review process.

5.000 Employment of a graduate student as a Teaching Associate may not be for more than 20 hours per week, normally equivalent to a maximum of six weighted teaching units of lecture or discussion sections or a maximum of eight weighted teaching units of laboratory sections. The teaching performance of Teaching Associates shall be subject to evaluation by students on the same basis as part-time faculty.

6.000 A graduate student may be employed simultaneously in two of the categories enumerated in this policy, provided that the total hours of employment do not exceed 20 per week during the Spring and Fall semesters. A graduate student employed as a Teaching Associate in one department, however, may not be employed as a Lecturer in another department.

7.000 A graduate student may not be employed as a Student Assistant, Graduate Assistant, Teaching Associate, or any combination of these positions for more than six semesters.

8.000 Prior to offering employment as a Student Assistant, Graduate Assistant, Teaching Associate, or Lecturer to a graduate student pursuing a degree in another department, the employing department shall notify the graduate student's home department to assure that (1) the student is enrolled in the required number of units and (2) the student's total employment does not exceed the maximum allowed by this policy.

9.000 If a graduate student employed by a department begins to pursue a different degree, either in another department at CSULB or at another university, the department chair of the student's original home department has the right to terminate the student's employment immediately or at the earliest convenience of the original home department. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to inform the graduate advisor of the original home department of a decision to seek a different degree.

Evidence of this decision would include, but is not limited to, formal acceptance into the new degree program, enrolling in courses for the new degree, or taking oral or written examinations for the new
degree.

10.000 Each department or unit which employs Teaching Associates shall develop policies covering, but not limited to, the following:

(a) the specific eligibility requirements for Teaching Associates
(b) the application procedure for Teaching Associates
(c) the criteria for the selection of new Teaching Associates
(d) the criteria for renewing and/or continuing Teaching Associates
(e) the training and supervision of Teaching Associates
(f) the duties and responsibilities of Teaching Associates
(g) the procedures and criteria for the evaluation of Teaching Associates
(h) the procedures for resolution should disputes or grievances arise between the Teaching Associate and a student, the supervising instructor, or the home department. These procedures must be in accordance with governing University policies.

The policies shall be on file in the department or unit office, and a copy shall be filed with the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies. These policies shall be available upon request and shall be given to each Teaching Associate in that department or unit upon being hired.

EFFECTIVE: Immediately