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Policy Statement - 17-18 Employment of Graduate Students as Student Assistants, Instructional Student Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Teaching Associates, Policy on




(This policy supersedes Policy Statements 95-03 and 96-21.)


This policy statement was approved by the Academic Senate on 11/30/2017

and approved by the President on 12/7/17.


1.0         Preamble


California State University, Long Beach offers employment as Student Assistants, Instructional 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.


2.0         Qualifications


To be employed as a Student Assistant, Instructional 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. They must also be enrolled at CSULB in course(s) applicable to the student’s graduate program or prerequisite courses, which are approved by the department in which the degree is to be awarded, and they must be making normal progress toward the degree. 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, Instructional 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.


3.0         Hours of Employment for Student Assistants, Instructional Student Assistants, and Graduate Assistants


3.1         Employment of a graduate student as a Student Assistant or Instructional 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.

3.2         In exceptional circumstances, with supervisor approval, a student employee may work more than 20 hours in a particular week during the Spring and Fall semesters.


3.3         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.


4.0         The Role of Teaching Associates


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 course coordinator, or faculty member assigned to teach 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 received adequate training and demonstrated competence in the subject matter of the course to be taught;

(3)   the teaching experience has been designed specifically to help the graduate student improve his or her command of pedagogical techniques; and

(4)   the graduate student is supervised directly by a faculty member and is provided evaluative feedback on a regular basis.

Graduate students may not be employed simply as a less expensive replacement for lecturer faculty. The Program Assessment and Review Council (PARC) shall monitor compliance with paragraph 4.0 through the program review process.


5.0         Hours of Employment and Evaluation of Teaching Associates


5.1         Employment of a graduate student as a Teaching Associate usually should 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.

5.2         The teaching performance of Teaching Associates, at a minimum, shall be subject to student evaluations using the same instrument as is used for faculty evaluations.


6.0         Simultaneous Employment


A graduate student may be employed simultaneously in two of the categories enumerated in this policy, provided that, in accordance with overall CSU policy, the total hours of employment should not exceed 20 hours per week during the Spring and Fall semesters. Work beyond 20 hours in any particular week must be approved by the relevant supervisor. A graduate student employed as a Teaching Associate in one department, however, may not be employed as a Lecturer in another department.



7.0         Change of Degree Program


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.


8.0         Department and Unit Policies on Teaching Associates


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

(1)   the specific eligibility requirements for Teaching Associates;

(2)   the application procedure for Teaching Associates;

(3)   the criteria for the selection of new Teaching Associates;

(4)   the criteria for renewing and/or continuing Teaching Associates;

(5)   the training and direct supervision of Teaching Associates;

(6)   the duties and responsibilities of Teaching Associates.

(7)   the procedures and criteria for the evaluation of Teaching Associates; and

(8)   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.


Any policies developed regarding eligibility, hiring, training, supervision of, or evaluating Teaching Associates must not be in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. All 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