Teaching Assistant FAQ
- Who is eligible to serve as a TA at UNCG?
- When and how will I get paid?
- What does my assistantship cover?
- Does UNCG cover my health or liability insurance?
- How many hours per week am I supposed to work?
- Where do I park my car?
- What is FERPA?
- How do I learn about technology in my classroom?
- How do I change room reservations for an academic
course or schedule a room for a review session?
- What are the rules about Copyright?
- Where can I find information on course instructor
- What information do I need to know about grading?
- Where can I find information on improving my
- How can I arrange to record one of my classes?
- Are there laptops available for Teaching Assistants?
- What do I do if I suspect one of my students of
cheating or plagiarism?
- What do I do if a student is acting inappropriately
in my class?
- Who do I contact if I feel I am being treated unfairly?
- What emergency information should I know?
UNCG employs some graduate students as Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA). Those of you with this designation have completed at least 18 graduate credit hours in the teaching discipline; if you are teaching an interdisciplinary course or an activities course, your department head must certify your credentials per SACSCOC requirements. GTAs serve as instructors of record for undergraduate courses. Others are hired as Graduate Instructional Assistants (GIA). Your responsibilities may include a variety of activities that supplement a professor’s instruction and may include supervising recitation sessions, facilitating class discussions, grading papers or examinations, and/or supervising laboratory sections. Your individual contract specifies your type of appointment and contains the Terms and Conditions of Appointment that describes the requirements and procedures for your employment as well as required academic qualifications.
Note: All non-office assistants must attend teaching assistant training. For more information about assistantship types visit the Assistantships page.
Stipends are paid after the work is performed, and are generally divided into four equal payments per semester. Thus, for the Fall semester, checks will be issued at the end of September, October, November and December. Spring payments will be made at the end of January, February, March and April. All new assistants (never worked at UNCG before) should have received tax forms and direct deposit information when you received your letter of appointment; if you did not, please contact the Graduate School.
Assistantships are work-related financial stipends requiring 20 hours of weekly work. Some assistantships may be augmented by a tuition waiver(s). Your individual contract specifies your level of stipend, and whether you are also awarded a tuition-waiver(s). Please be aware that a tuition waiver may affect “earned income” on your taxes. Consult IRS and North Carolina tax forms before filing tax returns. Regardless of level of appointment, students are responsible for all fees.
The University seeks to provide health insurance vouchers with a co-pay toward the Student Blue health plan for its graduate, research, and teaching assistants who do not already have health insurance. However, the University’s ability to offer these vouchers will depend upon budget constraints from year to year as well as annual stipend levels. The minimum annual stipends (including awards, scholarships, etc.) required to receive a health insurance voucher are:
- $6,000 for Masters students
- $8,000 for Master of Fine Arts students
- $9,600 for Doctoral students
Limited liability protection provided by state law for all University personnel also applies to Teaching Assistants arising in connection with their role as Teaching Assistants. In certain circumstances, the State may provide for the defense of a civil or criminal action brought against a Teaching Assistant in his or her official capacity. By observing established University policies and procedures for instruction, the Teaching Assistant can avoid the need for such services. Some general guidelines to follow include:
- Appropriate supervision of students during class time to minimize student risk from criminal, violent, or otherwise dangerous behavior;
- Proper and timely instruction of students in safety procedures for lab classes and other situations where improper use of supplies or equipment may create dangerous situations;
- Compliance with students’ rights to privacy regarding records, grades and personal information;
- Discretion and courtesy in handling student problems.
Workload and compensation for Teaching Assistants may vary by program, degree level, and assigned responsibility. However, service hours may not exceed 20 hours per week.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), The University of North Carolina at Greensboro guarantees students certain rights related to their educational records. Teaching assistants are encouraged to review the complete policy statement, which may be obtained at the Provost’s Office or at http://sa.uncg.edu/handbook/policies/. You should take extreme care to insure the handling of students’ records is in full compliance with established University Policy. Other information regarding students’ rights and responsibilities is in the UNCG Policies for Students section of the Dean of Students Website.
In compliance with FERPA, UNCG policy requires that personally identifiable information from a student’s educational record may not be disclosed to any third party in the absence of written permission from the student, except in the case of a UNCG official with a legitimate educational interest in the information. You are expected to maintain the confidentiality of your students’ private information.To become informed about FERPA compliance, please read carefully the information provided by the Office of the General Counsel:
Information Technology Services (ITS) provides speedy, knowledgeable, and reliable technical support for classrooms. Technicians are ready to provide help via the AV Assist button on the intercoms located at all teaching stations or by telephone. Most issues can be resolved quickly via our intercom monitoring system and, if not, a technician will be in your class within 5-10 minutes (during business hours). ITS offers one-on-one sessions and group training to help you create an engaging learning experience through better understanding and use of our complementary classroom technologies. Far from a simple how-to session on operating technology, these sessions engage with your personal methods and preferences to help create an environment where you can be successful.
For more information, see Classroom Technology Support Training and Consultation.
Copyright, always a concern in a research university environment, has become a much larger issue in recent years with the rise of the internet and online learning. This website is designed as a copyright resource for UNCG faculty members concerned with copyright issues surrounding both teaching and research.
Your department/faculty mentor will evaluate your student teaching. Standardized teacher evaluation forms are available from the department. Feedback from such evaluations provides you with valuable data for your professional development as a teacher.
UNCG has a university-wide final examination schedule and associated procedures about final examinations that must be followed. Specific procedures for grading, however, differ by department and instructor. Be sure to discuss grading procedures with your faculty mentor. Departments vary in the types of responsibilities for grading that are assigned to Teaching Assistants.
For updated instructions on reporting grades, go to the University Registrar’s website: http://reg.uncg.edu/faculty/grading/
There are numerous opportunities to develop your teaching and leadership skills offered throughout the year, both through the Graduate School and the University Teaching and Learning Commons. For example, you may be interested in enrolling in our Preparing Future Faculty program (PFF), which is part of our Preparing Future Leaders initiative. It offers valuable non-credit workshops on many aspects of teaching and learning. Upon completion of the program, a notation is made on your university transcript. In addition, I hope you will also take advantage of any training that may occur within your department. Your assigned faculty supervisor will also serve as a valuable resource and mentor.
The Teaching Resources Center in 310 School of Education Building provides instructional materials, equipment, and services that support the students, faculty, and staff of the School of Education, the UNCG campus, and teachers throughout the Piedmont Triad. A variety of equipment is available for checkout at the main desk, including laptops, iPads, cameras, video cameras, tripods, digital voice recorders, and headsets with mics. Equipment may be checked out for one week (with the exception of laptops and iPads, which have a 4 hour limit).
Instructors can also reserve, book, and borrow a range of technology for instructional use through the Instructional Technology Collection in Jackson Library.
UNCG is committed to providing students with the tools necessary to learn and develop technology skills for the 21st century. In keeping with this commitment, UNCG has reached agreements with Lenovo and Apple that will provide students with the opportunity to purchase fully-featured wireless laptop computers at discounted prices. Learn more about the Student Laptop Program on the ITS website and be sure to read through the Frequently Asked Questions related to the Program.
The Teaching Resources Center in 310 School of Education Building and the Instructional Technology Collection in Jackson Library also have laptops available for checkout for a 4 hour time limit.
The UNCG community subscribes to five core values of academic integrity. All violations of the Academic Integrity Policy are violations of the principle of honesty, but they may also create questions related to trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. The Dean of Students Office can guide you in reporting and addressing a violation of Academic Integrity.
The Dean of Students Office offers professional development workshops on useful techniques and best practices for dealing with students in distress and disruptive behavior in the classroom.
Instructors may withdraw students from a course for behavior that is deemed by the instructor to be disruptive to the class. The grade assigned will be “W” if the behavior occurs before the deadline for dropping a course without academic penalty, and instructors have the option of giving a “W” or “WF” if the behavior occurs after the deadline.
If you believe you have been treated unfairly on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, military veteran status, political affiliation, or sexual orientation, you should contact your immediate supervisor or the next level supervisor if the immediate supervisor is the subject of the allegation. Because you are also a student, you are encouraged to contact Office of Student Affairs. UNCG provides both faculty and affirmative action grievance procedures.
If a Graduate Teaching Assistant has a complaint relating to his or her teaching function, every effort should be made to resolve the issue with the faculty mentor or departmental Graduate Program Director. If the supervisor or director cannot resolve the problem, the matter may then be referred to the department head.
The University does not condone amorous relationships between either students and employees or students and instructors. Members of the University community should avoid such liaisons, which can harm affected students and damage the integrity of the University. For a full statement of the policy see Policy 300.4.1 Improper Relationships, Between Students and Employees.
Sexual harassment and discrimination are illegal and endanger the environment of tolerance, civility, and mutual respect. It is the University’s policy that sexual harassment constitutes misconduct justifying disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (336-334-4357) and the University Police (336-334-4444) oversee various concerns about physical safety on campus. These functions are spelled out in the UNCG Campus Safety and Law Enforcement booklet.
If your teaching assignment will involve exposing yourself or your students to possible hazards, you must adhere to the University’s rules and regulations for safe operation. Students will look to you for direction should an emergency occur and it is especially important that you know what to do and what resources are available before an incident occurs. Please visit Emergency Management for information.
A Message from the Vice Provost & Dean of the Graduate School
I am pleased to extend my best wishes for a successful year as a graduate teaching assistant at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. At UNC Greensboro, excellence in teaching is a central part of our mission. As a teaching assistant your work in the classroom is directly related to the quality of our educational offerings.
The Graduate Teaching Assistant Program is designed to provide you with information that will help you develop your teaching philosophy, and add to your repertoire of teaching skills. Today’s workshop covers those areas of teaching that are of concern to all graduate teaching assistants, regardless of your level of contractual responsibility in the classroom. During a regular fall or spring semester, UNCG employs some graduate students as Senior Teaching Assistants (STA). Those of you with this designation serve as instructors of record for undergraduate courses and you are considered part-time faculty. Others are hired as Teaching Assistants (TA). Your responsibilities may include a variety of activities that supplement a professor’s instruction and may include supervising recitation sessions, facilitating class discussions, grading papers or examinations, and/or supervising laboratory sections. Your individual contract specifies whether you are appointed as an STA or TA. The Terms and Conditions of Appointment describe the requirements and procedures for your employment as well as required academic qualifications. All graduate teaching assistants are supervised and evaluated by a faculty member.
Our Graduate Assistant Program extends well beyond today’s session. There are numerous opportunities to develop your teaching and leadership skills offered throughout the year, both through the Graduate School and the University Teaching and Learning Commons. For example, you may be interested in enrolling in our Preparing Future Faculty program (PFF), which is part of our Preparing Future Leaders (PFL) initiative. It offers valuable non-credit workshops on many aspects of teaching and learning. Upon completion of the program, a notation is made on your university transcript. In addition, I hope you will also take advantage of any training that may occur within your department. Your assigned faculty supervisor will also serve as a valuable resource and mentor.
We at the Graduate School have prepared this website to help you prepare for your teaching responsibilities. It will provide you with valuable information about University history and policy, as well as staff resources and ways to become a more effective teacher.
Developing as a classroom teacher is an important part of your professional growth. Serving as a teaching assistant will provide you an opportunity to share your passion for your discipline and enable you to create an environment for enthusiasm, excitement, and active learning in your classroom. Please know you are welcome to visit with us in the Graduate School at any time; we are here to help you. Most of all, enjoy your year as a teaching assistant.
Kelly J. Burke
Vice Provost and Dean of The Graduate School
What is the Graduate School?
The Graduate School is the home of graduate education at UNCG. More than 3,400 students are currently enrolled in over 50 certificate, 55 masters, 26 doctoral, and 2 education specialist programs, situated within the colleges and schools of the University. All matters of policy, procedures, and graduate curriculum are developed, approved, and implemented in consultation with the academic programs and the Graduate Studies Committee. The Graduate School comprises a dedicated group of faculty and staff who work with all graduate students, other University offices, and with individual departments or programs to ensure the excellence of graduate education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.