- Any graduate student appointed as a Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Assistant or Teaching Assistant must be enrolled as a full-time student within his/her degree program each semester of the appointment. Normally, that means enrolling in and completing nine-hours of graduate-level courses each semester. With the approval of the Committee on Graduate Studies, individual departments may petition for a one-time exception to this policy. Exceptions to these policies require approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs Office. If a graduate student drops below the minimum number of hours required, the assistantship will be terminated.
- Graduate Research Assistants and Graduate Assistants normally hold the position on a semester-by-semester basis and for a period not to exceed a total of two years. Renewal of the contract is not automatic and must be negotiated with the department or program each semester.
- Departments and programs set the number of work hours required to maintain an assistantship with the student each semester. Work hours may vary between 13-20 hours a week during the 15-week semester. In no case may a department require a student to work over twenty hours a week. No graduate assistant may have more than one job on the UWG campus if the one appointment requires 20 hours a week for completion. Because the university considers graduate assistants to be part-time employees, they are ineligible for employee benefits. No annual or sick leave is accrued.
- Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Teaching Assistants are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA.
- Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Teaching Assistants receive compensation as negotiated with the individual departments or programs hiring them. Students normally are paid monthly and not on a per-hour basis. All receive a tuition reduction, which covers all tuition charges except for $25, for the term during which they work. Students pay all other fees required by the university for graduate students. In addition, students holding an assistantship are required to have mandatory health insurance.
- Departments or hiring units must submit all Personnel Action Requests (PARs) for GRAs, GAs and TAs to the Graduate Financial Aid Counselor in the Office of Financial aid.
Once the department or hiring unit has completed and submitted the proper paperwork (which includes the Personnel Action Request Form and attached statement of Duties) to the Graduate Financian Aid Counselor, the Dean of the hiring college will notify the student of his/her appointment. The appointment letter contains information such as pay periods, policies, insurance requirement, etc. If the student accepts the appointment, he/she will return the acceptance letter to their hiring department. New hires (anyone not previously hired as a GRA/GA/TA) will go to the Human Resources Office, located in Aycock Hall, to complete all employment forms. Students should remember to bring a driver’s license and social security card for proof of identification. Students should direct any questions regarding the appointment to the hiring department.
Grievance Procedures, Resignation, or Termination:
a) If an assistant has a grievance against his/her employer, the student should contact the Department Chair or unit head first to resolve the issue. If that does not resolve the issue, please follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook and the Graduate School Catalog.
b) A graduate student wishing to resign or terminate his/her position should write a letter of resignation to his supervisor. The supervisor will inform the College Dean’s Office and the Graduate Financial Aid Counselor.
c) Failure to perform duties assigned in a satisfactory manner, or failure to comply with academic polices, may result in the termination of the assistantship. Students not completing a semester or term will be charged full tuition on a prorated basis. At the end of each term, the supervisor will complete an evaluation of the GRA, GA or TA and keep that evaluation on file in the department or hiring unit office. Evaluation forms may be found under on the Graduate Studies website: http://www.westga.edu/assetsDept/cogs/GRARATE.PDF .
The College Dean reminds both the student and the employing unit that steady and successful progress toward the degree is the most important and significant goal for the student. An assistantship should facilitate, not hinder, that timely progress.