Administrative Manual — Uses of the TA Allocation

Please note: During the 2020-21 academic year, these policies, procedures, and practices will move to the CLAS Policies and Procedures website. At that time, this page will be discontinued.

Range of Responsibilities Undertaken by Teaching Assistants

Monies allocated by the College for teaching assistant stipends are paid only to those graduate assistants involved in instruction. Their activities may include grading, leading discussion sections or laboratory sections, preparing instructional materials, or teaching courses. Graders should be assigned only to tenured or tenure-track faculty, to distinguished senior visitors with heavily enrolled courses, or to other visiting faculty who have teaching assignments at least 50% greater than those of tenure-track faculty.

Supervision of Teaching Assistants

The DEO must see that every teaching assistant is supervised by a faculty member. The course supervisor ensures that the course meets departmental and collegiate standards and that departmental and collegiate policies are adhered to. The course supervisor’s name must appear on the course syllabus.

Preparation of Teaching Assistants

The preparation of teaching assistants is an important part of the teaching responsibility of faculty. Every department maintains procedures for the preparation of new teaching assistants and for the further development of teaching skills in continuing TAs. The Center for Teaching supports the preparation of graduate students, through a Handbook for Teaching Assistants, workshops, and other programs.

Use of TAs as Primary Instructors

When assigning a TA to deliver the primary instruction in a course, the DEO must make certain that the assignment is appropriate. TAs should be primary instructors only in lower-division courses with small enrollments in which students are expected to do extensive writing or recitation. It is not appropriate to assign a TA to teach a lecture course or any course with an enrollment over 40 students.

It is also inappropriate to assign a TA to teach a course numbered at the 3000 level, because other graduate students may enroll in that course for credit. If the DEO believes that such an assignment must be made, he or she writes to the CLAS Associate Dean for Graduate Education before finalizing the assignment, giving the reasons why the assignment is necessary or desirable and the qualifications of the particular graduate assistant selected for the assignment. If the CLAS Associate Dean for Graduate Education approves the assignment, the DEO must appoint a faculty supervisor who will assign credit and grades to any graduate students enrolled in the course. On the final class lists submitted to the Registrar, the faculty supervisor initials the grades assigned to graduate students enrolled in the course.

Undergraduate Teaching Interns

Departments may not use funds allocated by the College for teaching assistant stipends to hire undergraduates as teaching interns. Teaching interns must be compensated with course credit. For more information, see Undergraduates as Instructional Aides on the CLAS website.