Three categories of Graduate Assistantship:
1. Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA): The duties of the GTA are primarily instructional. These individuals are selected based on past teaching experience or academic promise as effective instructors in their field of study. A GTA may be assigned responsibility for a self-contained class, for a laboratory or discussion class accompanying a faculty-taught lecture class, or for assisting a faculty member with teaching-related tasks such as lecturing, leading discussion groups, serving as an assistant to laboratory classes, advising students, proctoring examinations, preparing class materials, assisting during class, grading tests and papers, and providing general assistance in the instructional process. GTAs who teach courses for credit and/or assign final course grades must meet the faculty qualification standards established by WLU Policy.
2. Graduate Research Assistant (GRA): GRAs are selected for excellence in scholarship and promise as researchers. They may be employed by any of the University’s academic, research, or administrative offices. They engage in part-time research as a portion of their training under the direct supervision of regular faculty members, or support the research initiatives of the institution. The nature of the assistance they provide may vary by discipline and can involve a variety of activities, such as library work, proposal writing, data gathering, and data analysis. While placement of GRAs within their program of study is a priority, some GRAs may be appointed to units outside their academic discipline.
3. Graduate Service Assistant (GSA): The title GSA refers to graduate students who are employed to aid faculty or staff members with functions of the unit in which the appointment is made. Any academic or nonacademic unit may establish service assistantships. The GSA is responsible to a professional member of the unit who supervises and trains the student in the service role. Duties vary depending on the needs of the unit.
Eligibility and Rights
To be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship, a student must have been accepted into a graduate program at WLU and be registered for at least six (6) credit hours for the term(s) in which they will receive the assistantship. They must also maintain the minimum GPA for the program in which they are registered. Graduate Assistantships will last no more than two (2) calendar years. Appointment as a Graduate Assistant does not confer any rights to permanent appointment. The length of service of a Graduate Assistant does not alter the temporary nature of the appointment or confer additional rights. Appointments are generally made on a semester-by-semester basis.
- All WLU Graduate Assistantships cover (six) 6 hours of graduate coursework per semester regardless of in-state or out-of-state tuition rate.
- GA students living on campus will also receive a housing waiver (this is not for a single room and can only be applied to certain areas of campus housing. students are encouraged to contact Housing and Residence Life to ensure their campus housing is eligible for a waiver. Students residing on campus are required to purchase an on-campus meal plan.).
- Some positions may also include a stipend.
Full time Graduate Assistants can expect to work 20 hrs/wk in both the fall and spring semesters. Summer work will vary based on position and academic program. The standard starting date for a graduate assistant should be one week before the first day of classes and the standard ending date shall be the last day of final exams. Graduate Assistants are NOT required to work when classes are not in session (ie holidays, between semesters), unless previously arranged with their supervisor.
Graduate Assistants will be required to participate in mandatory West Liberty University training as needed and must comply with all WLU policies and procedures.
If your GA position includes a stipend you will be required to complete all required paperwork with the WLU Human Resources office.
Resignation – A graduate assistant choosing to resign or terminate his/her employment must submit a letter of resignation to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. If the student accepts the offer and then desires to withdraw, the student may submit, in writing, a resignation within two weeks.
Termination – A graduate assistant may be terminated for the following reasons:
- Suspension or dismissal of a graduate student from the University for disciplinary reasons and/or academic misconduct
- The overall GPA drops below the academic program requirement.
- Failure to perform work assignments at a satisfactory level
The University reserves the right to terminate a graduate assistant if, in the discretion of the Provost, the circumstances of a particular situation warrant such action.
- If you have not done so already, first apply for graduate admission.
- Applications for GA positions are posted through our Human Resources webpage.
Your application will be processed by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies who will match applicants with positions. The office originating the position will conduct interviews with qualified candidate(s) identified by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. The Unit Head will notify the Coordinator of Graduate Studies whether or not the candidate has been accepted for the position. Notifications of awards will be made as they are determined. Awards are generally for one semester or summer term, but may be renewed.
For more information please refer to Procedure 254
For general questions about Graduate Assistantships contact the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, [email protected]