A graduate assistantship typically includes a combination of duties such as teaching, grading, or working on research projects. Graduate assistants work for a total of 20 hours a week.
Graduate Assistants-Teaching (GATs) normally teach courses in the basic language program, progressing through the various levels (Beginning Spanish I and II, Intermediate Spanish I and II) as they hone their teaching skills. Advanced students occasionally teach other courses, including SPAN 302 (Advanced Grammar), SPAN 303 (Composition and Conversation), and SPAN 310 (Oral Expression).
HISP 675 (Spanish Language Teaching Methods) is a pedagogy course required for first-time teachers. It is offered only in the Spring semester. Exemptions from 675 must be approved by both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Graduate Assistants-Research (GARs) focus on other duties such as leading language lab sessions or tutoring in the Language Support Office. Alternatively, they may grade or lead discussion groups for a faculty instructor. In that case, they are expected to attend classes, follow reading assignments, help with exams, meet with students, and occasionally, teach a class session. Finally, some GARs assist on specific research projects, in which case they can have a number of different tasks.
All graduate student assistants (GARs and GATs) must attend a departmental workshop that typically takes place the week before the fall semester begins. Any summer travel must be scheduled so as not to conflict with these activities. New graduate assistants may need to attend additional workshops and should plan to arrive on campus at least two weeks in advance of the start of Fall classes.
Stipends: All appointments are budgeted at 20 hours per week and include health insurance benefits. Stipends are competitive and are awarded for 9 months; additional 1.5-month summer awards are sometimes available.
Tuition waiver: All assistantships include a waiver of out-of-state tuition, which must be renewed each semester. Additionally, some doctoral students receive fee waivers, depending on a number of factors, including years in the program.
Course load: All assistants must be enrolled in 9 hours in Fall and Spring. If you are given a summer session assistantship, you must also be registered for at least 3 hours in the appropriate summer session to be eligible to get paid.
Grade Point Ratio: All assistants must maintain a cumulative grade point ratio (GPR) of 3.25 or better. Those who fall below this level have one-semester probation to get their grades back up.
English proficiency: In order to be employed by the Department of Hispanic Studies, students must meet English proficiency requirements. For details, please consult the OGAPS webpage.
Tenure: Assistantships are annual appointments. All assistants are reviewed annually by the Director of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee, and are reappointed, reappointed on probation, or terminated. Criteria for the decision include grades, progress towards the degree, teaching performance, and timely completion of other assigned tasks and required training. Ph.D. students hold appointments for a maximum of five years.