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MSDA GA Application

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INFORMATION ABOUT GRADUATE INSTRUCTIONAL ASSISTANTSHIP APPLICATIONS AND SELECTION

The Director for Graduate Programs in Sociology, in consultation with The Graduate Admissions Committee and Sociology Department Chair, appoints graduate instructional assistants (GIAs) using the following guidelines.

1. Similar to scholarships, GIA positions are competitive.  Just because a student applies does not mean she or he will receive a GIA position. We always have more applications than available positions.

2. The Sociology Graduate Admissions Committee and Graduate Advisor evaluate several items as we consider potential GIAs:

            A. Application to the program (including GPA, statement of purpose as a writing sample, and recommendation letters)

            B. Faculty comments about students (positive and/or negative): Our assessment of your skills, maturity, civility, and professionalism during our meetings with you, email conversations, in our classes, with other students, etc.

            C. Students’ academic performance in our classes

            D. Students’ availability: If a student says that she or he is only available on certain days or at certain times, or, only available 2 or 3 days a week, then the application is not competitive and the student will not receive a GIA. Just like with any other 5 day a week job, students who are GAs must be available 5 days a week. Some GIAs must come in 5 days a week while others come in less.

3. Applicants must understand that GIA positions, once given, are not guaranteed. GIAs are evaluated each semester by their supervising faculty members, the graduate director, and faculty with whom they are taking classes.  GIAs can be fired during the semester in which they are employed or not hired after one semester (or more) of being a GIA for violating any Sociology department, Graduate College, or University rule or policy, which includes Title IX violations, Honor Code violations, and lack of professionalism with any person associated with the university, among other reasons.

4. Applicants must understand that no two GIAs will be doing the exact same tasks for their supervising faculty members. Applicants must be willing and available to engage in a variety of required duties including attending the supervising faculty member’s undergraduate classes, taking attendance, attending lectures, shredding documents, copying exams, tutoring students, grading papers or other course work, doing research, and doing guest lectures, among other things.

5. Summer GIA appointments are very competitive. We are able to employ only a few GIAs. GIAs are not automatically selected for summer: a student who is a GIA in the spring is not guaranteed a GIA position in the summer. If a GIA is interested in working during the summer, he or she should let the Director of Graduate Programs know by March 1.

6. The Graduate Admissions Committee and graduate director may make exceptions to any of these guidelines at their discretion (except for official Graduate College guidelines, which rarely allow for exceptions).

7. Per Graduate College policies: GIAs must have a minimum of 3.0 and be enrolled in 9 hours of coursework each fall and spring. GIAs cannot be hired if they have a conditional acceptance; students must be unconditionally accepted in order to work as a GIA.