Guidelines for Graduate Assistantships Research
Research assistantships may be viewed as basic subsistence allowances that permit academically qualified students to pursue their graduate education full time. The pace of graduate education will occupy most waking moments. The wise student will consider the day as a research job with time release for courses. The evenings and weekends are needed for study and additional research. The student will be required to prepare formal summaries, preliminary reports, abstracts, make presentations at scientific meetings and present seminars on the his/her research. These activities are an important part of the student's education.
The assistant is obliged to devote 20 hours per week to assisting the major professor's research project. Often, the assistant's thesis problem coincides with some aspect of the professor's research project and is usually funded from the professor's research grants. The result is that students do not fragment their efforts by working part time on their own project and part time on their professor's project.
Consequently, the students finish their thesis much earlier since most, if not all of their research efforts can be channeled to their thesis problem. The professor benefits because all of the student's efforts are devoted to an aspect of the professor's research project. This symbiotic relationship accounts for the existence of assistantships as a concept throughout this country and for the spread of the concept around the world. Although the department does not require all students to have teaching experience, students who expect to teach professionally should request teaching experience.
Teaching assistants who are to have primary teaching responsibilities of presenting lectures and/or leading laboratory exercises must have completed a Masters degree. A high proficiency in spoken English is absolutely required of all teaching assistants. All graduate teaching assistants are required to participate in the University Teaching Effectiveness Workshops. The NCSU Handbook for Teachers should be referred to for matters such as office hours, testing, grading, security, ethics and other related teaching matters. The specific expectations, requirements and responsibilities for each course will be provided by the faculty member(s) in charge and should not exceed the appointment load (one-half time, etc.).
All graduate teaching assistants will be under the supervision of an experienced faculty teacher. The degree of this supervision will depend on the experience and achievements of the student. The evaluation of teaching assistants is dependent on the level of class contact. Those with primary instructional responsibilities will be evaluated by students they taught just as the faculty are evaluated. Assistants serving primarily in supportive roles will be evaluated by their supervisors. All evaluations will be forwarded to the department Graduate Administrator. The results of evaluations will be conveyed to all assistants in a constructive manner by the supervisor and/or Graduate Administrator.