Graduate Assistantships and GA Evaluations

Graduate and Teaching Assistantships

As a department and program, we are very pleased to have a strong record of providing graduate and teaching assistantships to our students to support their studies. These assistantships are offered on a competitive basis and typically carry a full or partial tuition waiver and a stipend for a specific number of hours of work (typically between 9 and 20 hours) with a faculty member, departmental assignment, or divisional assignment. Graduate Assistantships are not offered during the third year internship (historically, students are able to have a paid internship through the department of education). Students who are awarded a graduate or teaching assistantship either through the department or one of the University divisions will receive an offer letter and be hired through Academic Personnel letter of intent from the Graduate School. If a student has questions, it is best to seek out information from the EDP administrative assistants, the Program Coordinator, and/or the EDP Department Chair. Serving as a graduate or teaching assistant can add significantly to your graduate education because it enables you to have a range of experiences that cannot be obtained in your classes or practicum sites. Teaching assistantships are given to second year students after a competitive review process to assist in teaching EDP 201, which is a Miami Plan course taught by our department. If chosen as a Teaching Assistant, that student will be given specific guidelines for teaching and evaluation by their coordinating faculty members. Graduate assistants, on the other hand, may be asked to participate in departmental instructional support or administrative activities and act as informational liaisons between students & faculty. 

Graduate assistants generally have the following duty types:

  1. Instructional Support: Prepare materials, assist with grading, provide supervision, make class presentations, operate audiovisual equipment, lead discussions, and perform other tasks that assist faculty in providing high quality instruction.
  2. Research Support: Gather bibliographic information, collect data, code and/or organize data, input information on the computer, assist in the preparation of quantitative and qualitative reports, and perform other tasks that enhance the research productivity of their faculty supervisor(s).
  3. Administrative/Service Support: Plan and carry out essential tasks related to the work of a special project, conference, University committee, or community advisory council; prepare and disseminate information for these activities; make arrangements for successful conducting of these activities; assist in the preparation of letters, newsletters, reports, and other documents; and perform other tasks that contribute to the smooth operation of administrative and service activities of the faculty members to which you are assigned.

Any questions about graduate assistant expectations or duties should be posed to the departmental Graduate Director, Dr. Katy Mezher.

Assistantships are a valued part of our department and our commitment to enrolling and mentoring graduate students. However, they are formative work experiences that do necessitate an evaluative component. Although we try to maintain a student's funding level for their second year, students should know that (a) The assistantships are not automatically renewed or sustained, and (b) students with partial assistantships would be very unlikely to be increased to a full assistantship. A second year graduate assistantship depends first on the continued availability of funds. Second, the student must have demonstrated competence and, if the student is not performing up to expectations, the funding may be taken away or modified. On the other hand, it is equally if not more important to honor the exemplary practices of those GA’s who provide outstanding service, work, and conduct. As such, the department uses an evaluation form, provided twice per year to faculty members by the departmental Graduate Director. These are then turned into the Graduate Director and Department Chair for further analysis. If a student is found to be performing at an unsatisfactory level, attempts at remediation will be made and a plan will be formulated to help that student get back on track. If, after such intervention occurs, the situation does not improve to satisfactory levels, that student’s funding may be in peril. Please review the evaluation form for more information.

Graduate Assistantship Evaluations

Graduate assistants and teaching assistants will be evaluated at least twice yearly by their supervisor(s) on their performance. Areas assessed on the evaluation form include punctuality/attendance, professionalism, completing tasks in a timely manner, quality of completed tasks and projects, and technical/research/administrative/service skills (appropriate to position). The evaluation form is available upon request from the program coordinator or Department chair.