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SP 5.00 - Policies for Graduate Assistants

Revised: June 2, 2006

Period of Graduate Assistantships
Unless otherwise noted in the contract letter, the term of all graduate assistantships in the School of Music runs from mid-August through mid-May of each academic year.  Each semester of the academic year graduate assistants are expected to be available from one week before the beginning of classes through graduation at the end of the semester, exceptions being official student holidays such as Labor Day Holiday, Fall Break, Thanksgiving Recess, Spring Break, and Easter Holiday (weekends contiguous with an official student holiday are considered part of the holiday).  Except for sudden illness, all absences from assigned duties must be approved in advance by the graduate assistant's supervisor.  These policies do not in any way absolve the student of responsibilities arising either from course requirements (e.g., out-of-town ensemble trips during breaks) or from graduate-assistantship duties mentioned in the contract letter.

New graduate assistants are required to attend a brief orientation session sometime during the week preceding the beginning of classes.  In addition, those who will be teaching and/or grading students in classrooms, laboratories, or studios when a regular faculty member is not present must attend a two-day orientation session, and students whose native language is not English and who have been granted a teaching assistantship will additionally attend a two-day orientation session.  Graduate assistants will be apprised of the specific dates and times of all orientation sessions.

Each graduate assistant will be assigned to a faculty supervisor.  The nature and amount of supervision will vary according to the assigned duties (classroom graduate assistants, for example, will normally receive more supervision than accompanists).

All graduate assistants will be reviewed by the appropriate supervisor at the end of each semester and, for those desiring to renew their graduate assistantship, around February 15.  Other reviews will be conducted when deemed necessary by the supervisor or the Director of Graduate Studies.  Each review is confidential and may be seen only by the Director of the School of Music, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the graduate assistant's supervisor; no review will become part of the student's permanent file.  All reviews will be part of the process for considering the continuation and/or renewal of a graduate assistantship.

Additional Employment
According to University regulations, half-time graduate assistants (those with 15 or more hours per week of GA work) are not permitted to have additional employment, on or off campus during the term(s) for which they are appointed.  Requests for an exception to this policy should be submitted in writing to the Music Graduate Director.

Renewal of Graduate Assistantships
Upon satisfactory performance of responsibilities, satisfactory progress towards completion of the chosen degree, and availability of funding, graduate assistantships are usually renewable on a year-to-year basis, as follows:  master's students are eligible to renew once (for a total of two years service) and doctoral students twice (for a total of three years service).  Normally Certificate students are not eligible for renewal of a graduate assistantship.  Students who pursue additional graduate studies are eligible to be considered for a one-year extension of the renewal guidelines mentioned above (e.g., a master's student who additionally earns the Certificate may serve as many as three years, a doctoral student who has earned the Certificate or master's degree, four years).

All questions concerning graduate assistantships should be directed to the Music Graduate Director.

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