The complete handbook of Teaching Assistant employment guidelines may be found here: https://policies.utexas.edu/policies/teaching-assistants.
The complete handbook of Assistant Instructor employment guidelines may be found here: https://policies.utexas.edu/policies/assistant-instructors.
Graduate school policies regarding Grad Student Academic Appointments: https://gradschool.utexas.edu/academic-employment.
University of Texas TA employment dates by semester:
Fall: September 1 – January 15. Paycheck dates are October 1 – February 1.
Spring: January 16 – May 31. Paycheck dates are February 1 – June 1.
Pay and Benefits
20-hour TAs will be paid $9,785 per semester before taxes, or $2,174 per month for 4.5 months.
10-hour TAs will be paid $4,893 per semester before taxes, or $1,087 per month for 4.5 months.
TAs working at least 20 hours per week are eligible for a Tuition Reduction Benefit, applied directly to tuition, in the amount of $5,183. 20-hour per week positions are benefits-eligible, and include employer-paid health insurance through UT Academic Blue. TAs working at least 20 hours per week are also eligible for in-state tuition, which must be requested by the TA each semester.
TAs working at least 10 hours are also eligible for a Tuition reduction Benefit in the amount of $2,592. TAs working less than 20 hours are not eligible for benefits.
TA and AI Employment Eligibility
The Graduate School maintains a webpage with conditions of employment. These conditions require that students:
- Make satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree without existing conditional admission requirements;
- Remain registered for at least nine semester hours of coursework in fall or spring semesters, or three semester hours for summer appointments. This does not include enrollment in University Extension courses or Independent Study and Research, and;.
- Maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average; and
- Must not have more than two grades of X, I, NC, D or F in any combination.
More information about TA employment may be found here: https://sites.utexas.edu/artgrads/grad-employees/academic-employment-eligibility/.
20/30 Hour Limit
Assignments in a student job title at the university, including academic as well as non-academic positions, may not exceed 20 hours per week during the first 2 long semesters (fall/spring) of graduate study at UT Austin, and no more than 30 hours per week during the subsequent semesters, including summer. There are exceptions for spring break, summer, and winter break, as listed here.
International students who will be employed as teaching assistants or assistant instructors must have minimum English language proficiency scores or obtain the International Teaching Assistant English Certification. See directions and exemptions here: https://global.utexas.edu/english-language-center/resources/international-teaching-assistants.
International students may work as many as 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. Full-time employment (21-40 hours per week) is allowed only during the following times for enrolled and continuing students:
- Spring Break (5 weekdays, plus the Saturday and Sunday before and after);
- Summer (day after May graduation through day before August classes start);
- Winter Break (day after December graduation through day before January classes start).
The Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) defines the general job description for teaching assistants (HOP 9-2020) as graduate students who help faculty with the conduct and delivery of courses. Art and Art History TA primary work assignments are determined per the needs of the unit’s faculty and department schedule. TAs are under the supervision of a regular member of the faculty. Duties include but are not limited to:
- Meet with assigned class each week for the full time it meets; arrive early, leave late, and set example of good work habits
- Read the assigned texts and attempt to understand materials in order to grade accurately
- Grade, evaluate student work, and proctor exams; if applicable, take part all group critiques, paying attention to the work of each student; provide feedback to the instructor about class performance
- Assist instructor in keeping class order and a positive working environment; follow instructor’s lead in how class is structured; assist instructors in class demonstrations when necessary
- Be helpful and attentive to students needs
- Perform clerical tasks associated with course instruction
- Be in charge of studio/laboratory cleanup, assigning students cleanup duties
- Hold office hours for student assistance
- Get training in, be aware of, and communicate safety policies and practices; communicate information about student injuries and dangerous conditions to instructor immediately;
- Stay for any responsibilities through the week after the last day of class
TAs are prohibited from regular classroom instruction and may not serve as the instructor of record. TAs may lecture under the direct supervision of the instructor for mentoring/training purposes, and only with the consent, prior agreement, and preparation of the TA. TA duties may NOT include assisting with instructor’s research, administrative, or personal tasks.
TAs and instructors should also agree upon methods for communicating during the semester (email, phone, in-person discussions). If any situations arise, please communicate with your faculty instructor. Remember that student information must be kept confidential. There are strict FERPA regulations concerning student grades and confidentiality.
Students serving as TAs are encouraged to use the Center for Teaching and Learning’s resources for training and support.
Time management and Leave
TAs are appointed in positions with scheduled weekly hours ranging from 10 to 20 hours. TAs do not submit time sheets. TAs may not be asked by the instructor to work more, on average, than their weekly hours for a course. It is good practice to establish a regular weekly schedule at the beginning of the semester, accounting for time needed to accomplish duties.
TAs do not accrue vacation time or sick leave. TAs should contact instructors as soon as possible regarding planned or unplanned absences. Similarly, the TAs and instructors should address expectations for working during exam periods and breaks (excluding official university holidays). TAs should not leave town before the final grades are turned in; help is needed with assigning final grades. Any leaves of absence during the period of employment including conferences and personal time off, must have prior approval by the instructor.
At the end of the employment period, TA performance is evaluated by the instructor and students. TAs will have the opportunity to review and discuss evaluations. Evaluations are kept on file by the department. Students generally evaluate TAs through the Course-Instructor Survey, but programs may choose to use additional performance assessment tools, such as Qualtrics for Studio Art and Art Education.
If problems are identified, performance improvement plans should be developed and agreed upon by the TA and instructor.
Student employees are expected to meet work performance standards established by their supervisor, department, and university. Examples of poor performance may include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Repeated tardiness absence, or unavailability for work, or without proper notification to the supervisor or without satisfactory reasons;
- Violating safety rules or accepted safety practices; creating or contributing to unhealthy or unsanitary conditions;
- Failing to meet a reasonable objective measure of efficiency and productivity, wasting time during work hours;
- Failing or refusing to follow instructions, meet deadlines, or complete designated work; failing to
cooperate with supervisors, or disruptive or disorderly conduct;
- Failing to follow Responsible Conduct of Research protocols or other established procedures.
University policy prohibits sexual interactions or romantic relationships, including consensual relationships, between an employee and an undergraduate student. Be mindful when interacting with students, and make sure to maintain appropriate boundaries.
As an employee of the University, you must complete Title IX training. If you witness or receive information about sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking that involves a current student or employee, you must promptly report the incident to the University’s Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Reports may be made by phone at (512) 471-0419, email at email@example.com, or online at https://titleix.utexas.edu/file-a-report. An employee who does not report an incident or who makes a false report is subject to termination and may be charged with a criminal offense. For more information about employee responsibilities under Title IX, including information about confidential employee reporting exceptions, please visit the Title IX website at http://titleix.utexas.edu.
Grievance and dispute resolution processes
TAs should contact their faculty instructor, Graduate Advisor, and/or Graduate Coordinator if a dispute arises. The Graduate School provides a summary of grievance procedures for graduate students. If the TA’s grievance is specifically related to employment, the procedure is outlined in HOP 9-2050. Art and Art History will refer to UT Human Resources, which provides guidelines for student employment management and employment separations when performance problems cannot be resolved.
Assistant Instructor Eligibility
- Good academic standing at the time of application and during the semester employed
- A master’s degree or completion of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework
- Completion of one semester as teaching assistant (TA)
- Completion of a teaching methods (398T) course
Graduate programs may also stipulate additional eligibility requirements for students serving as AIs for specific courses, such as a degree in a particular field or pre-requisite coursework. Examples of these requirements are as follows:
- Maintain acceptable course-instructor survey ratings
- Proficiency in specific skills as identified by the supervising faculty member for the course assigned
- Proficiency in the English language as demonstrated by a passing score on the International Teaching Assistant Exam (international AIs only)
- Consent of faculty research/dissertation supervisor
Assistant Instructor Expectations
The Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP) provides the general job description for assistant instructors (HOP 9-2010). The AI position is defined as “A non-faculty, academic position held by an eligible graduate student with the primary duties of teaching undergraduate classes and providing instruction under the supervision of a University faculty member.” AIs typically teach lower-division undergraduate classes. Approval by the Dean of the Graduate School is required for an AI to teach an upper-division undergraduate course (email requests to: firstname.lastname@example.org). AIs may not be appointed to teach graduate-level courses, even by petition. The department must designate a faculty supervisor for an AI for each assigned course.
AI-supervisor agreements should clearly specify the expected duties of the AI for the assigned course, and these duties must be acknowledged and agreed to by both the supervising professor and the student. HOP 9-2010 describes the duties of AIs as:
- Serve as the instructor of record for lecture classes, laboratories, and/or discussion sections
- Hold office hours
- Adhere to a syllabus that follows university and departmental guidelines
Students serving as AIs are encouraged to use the Center for Teaching and Learning’s resources for instructional strategies.
AIs must choose their reading materials to complement the themes in the syllabus. They might opt for a single survey book, or scan articles of chapters of published books and put them up on Canvas under “Files” in the course (there is no copyright problem since this is educational fair use and materials are restricted to enrolled students.) Students may reach out to faculty members who have taught their course and ask them for suggestions for textbook/reading/videos/etc., which will provide an idea of what works for the level and objectives of the course.
Assistant & Assistant Instructor Evaluation
AIs should be evaluated at the end of each semester by their supervisor of record, and, if applicable, the students in the course with which they worked. Evaluations are used to discuss employee progress and address performance. Art History AIs are evaluated using UT’s Course Instructor Survey system. Evaluation forms may include the Supervisor Evaluation Form.