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Graduate Assistantships afford students the opportunity to gain a variety of valuable skills and experiences through professional work on campus. Assistantships provide financial support to full-time graduate students through part-time positions in research, special projects and administrative duties.
The Graduate Assistantships funded by the Division of Graduate Studies fall into two categories based on responsibilities and time commitment. (Departments may also separately fund other GA positions.)
GA20:This is our most intensive graduate assistantship and requires a commitment of approximately 20 hours per week during the semester. The duties of a GA20 are varied and include a depth of purpose and experience that makes the activity rewarding for the graduate student. For example positions may include faculty-led research or teaching a class.
GA12:This level of GA requires a time commitment of approximately 12 hours per week during the semester. The duties of a GA12 may be similar to a GA20, but generally support a more global activity in a department and often support departmental day‐to‐day activities.
Other GA Positions: Departments may fund GAs and establish work schedule, number of hours per semester and support amount.
Policies Pertaining to Graduate Assistants
GOALS AND PURPOSES OF GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS
A graduate assistantship at Oswego is based on important goals and purposes for the student as well as for the college. Such an assignment provides the graduate student with an opportunity to gain meaningful practical experience in a department to complement his or her theoretical academic experience in the classroom. The assignment gives the graduate student significant opportunities within his/her discipline as well as offering an opportunity to gain insight into the conduct of academic affairs outside the classroom.
The college, through the department, should benefit from the graduate assistant. Heightened personnel support for faculty is a major function of this position. Also, departments may use graduate assistantships as a means to attract high caliber graduate students who will challenge faculty members to greater endeavors themselves.
Perhaps the most significant purpose of a graduate assistantship can be noted in the opportunity for strengthened bonds between faculty and students.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP
A graduate assistantship is available only to graduate students who have been formally accepted into graduate degree (or advanced certificate) study at Oswego. He/she must be a full-time student (registered for 6-9 hours and an assistantship) enrolled in courses required for the degree program. PLEASE NOTE: If the student Is receiving federal or state financial aid, he/she must be registered for 9 hours plus the assistantship to be considered full time.
The primary responsibility of a graduate student at all times is to maintain a high level of personal academic scholarship. A graduate student holding an assistantship is not expected to compromise or otherwise contravene this primary purpose. Departmental workload responsibilities assigned to the graduate assistant must never assume a priority greater than those of his/her academic commitments.
DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES ORIENTATION AND SUPERVISION
A faculty or staff member is assigned to supervise the academic progress and performance of each graduate student It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that the academic performance of the student is not impaired in any way. Therefore, departmental workload assignments ideally are constructed around the academic commitments of the graduate student. Supervised workload experiences should complement the academic program of the student wherever possible.
The department should provide a planned program of orientation for all beginning graduate assistants. Such a program includes a thorough explanation of departmental expectations of the graduate assistant as well as determination of the experience and capabilities of a student.
The supervisor should establish a performance plan with the graduate assistant. This plan should outline the job responsibilities of the GA along with the expectations of the supervisor. The supervisor should meet with the GA at periodic intervals to discuss the GA's performance. These evaluations should be in writing and kept in departmental files.
TIME AND ATTENDANCE
The department/supervisor is responsible for keeping time and attendance records for all GAs. This may be accomplished by requiring GAs to complete time sheets. The department can create their own time sheets or use those currently used by CSEA. GA time sheets should be kept in departmental files.
The department is responsible for the number of credit hours taken by the graduate assistant. Normally speaking, students holding GA20 graduate assistantships (approximately 20 hours) are allowed to register for a maximum of nine hours. Graduate assistant workloads may not exceed 20 hours per week. A GA12 (approximately 12 hours) may register for twelve hours of coursework. GA20's wishing to exceed the nine credit hour limit must have permission from their advisor and the Graduate Dean. If a GA20 does register for more than 9 hours and has not received permission from the Graduate Dean, he/she may be asked to drop the extra credit hours and will be responsible for whatever financial liability has incurred.
TYPES OF GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS FUNDED BY THE GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT
There are two types of graduate assistantships - GA20 and GA12. Both carry partial to full tuition (9 SH) scholarships and stipends.
A GA20 and GA12 will receive a contract letter from the president awarding the position, stating the length of theJ contract commitment and the stipend. Enclosed with the award letter is information about eligibility for health insurance. To accept the position, he/she must sign and date the copy of the letter and return it to the Office of Human Resources by the date specified.
If a GA receives a tuition scholarship, he/she must submit a tuition scholarship form online.
This needs to be done as soon after registration as possible to reflect on the bill. The GA must complete this tuition scholarship form each semester he/she has an assistantship. GAs on contract receive paychecks bi-weekly.
Checks are distributed through the employing office.
Department may use other funding to employ GAs providing tuition and/or stipends. Departments should use their best judgment in establishing work schedule, number of hours per semester and support amount.
DROP POLICY FOR GA TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS
If a student drops a course being paid for by a tuition scholarship and incurs tuition liability for that course, the tuition scholarship will not pay for the incurred tuition liability. The student will be responsible for paying for the tuition. Therefore, if he/she intends to drop a course, it should be done before incurring tuition liability for the course.
RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES (All GAs)
Parking: A GA is entitled to receive an employee parking sticker. The student does not pay a registration fee, and parks in an employee lot. THE STUDENT MUST IDENTIFY THEMSELF AS A GRADUATE ASSISTANT WHEN REGISTERING A VEHICLE.
College Store: A GA is entitled to a 10% discount off new textbooks purchased through the College Store. AGAIN, A GA MUST IDENTIFY THEMSELF AS A GRADUATE ASSISTANT TO RECEIVE THIS DISCOUNT.
Penfield Library: A GA is given an extended time when borrowing books from the library.
Holiday Leave (Stipendiary GAs): If there are no classes on a state holiday, then holidays are treated as holidays with pay and the GA is not required to make up the hours. If a GA is required to work on such holidays, the GA is entitled to compensatory time off.
Sick Leave (Stipendiary GAs): Graduate assistants are eligible for sick leave. Students on assistantships will receive 5 days of sick leave per agreement year commencing with their second semester of employment. Such leave is not, however, "accrued" as with other employees; but is instead available in a "block" and the unused portion is not carried from agreement year to agreement year. This leave is for any occasion that the employee cannot fulfill his/her work obligation due to a temporary disability or death or illness in the immediate family. The employer is, of course, able to require medical verification of an illness.
If you have any questions or concerns not covered in this document, please feel free to contact the Division of Graduate Studies, 606 Culkin Hall. We are here to ensure that an assistantship experience is beneficial to the student and the college.