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Hiring Graduate Assistants

Position Announcement:  The Graduate School is happy to assist in advertising Graduate Assistantship positions.  Email your job announcement to us at graduate@umsl.edu.  We will email your announcement out to all active graduate students.  We regularly hear from graduate students who are looking for positions, so you are sure to get replies. Your assistantship announcement should include the following:

Title
Campus Unit
Position Summary
Responsibilities
Qualifications
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Compensation / Tuition support (if applicable)
How to Apply and application due date

Eligibility:  The graduate student who will assume your position should meet the regular graduate assistantship eligibility, workload and enrollment requirements as outlined on our graduate assistantship webpage.  Requirements include being in good academic standing (3.0 min gpa) and being admitted to a graduate degree program or certificate program.  Students should also be hired to a .50FTE graduate assistantship position and be enrolled half-time (5cr hrs). 

Hiring:  In order to hire the student and submit the needed documents, the department (or Human Resources) would need to complete an ePAF in Peoplesoft HR.  The ePAF home page in Peoplesoft HR is under:  Main Menu > Department Self Service > ePAF Home Page and the steps for completing an ePAF for a graduate student are on the following UMSystem ePAF training page.  The hiring job codes are: 4710-Graduate Assistant, 4715-Graduate Research Assistant, 4717-Graduate Teaching Assistant, 4685-Graduate Instructor.  All students being hired to a graduate assistantship title should be presented with, and sign off on an assistantship offer letter.

Teaching Assistants:  Teaching assistants must have at least one degree beyond the level of students they are teaching.  International Teaching assistants must meet Missouri's English language proficiency statute.  By state statute, no international student may teach the first semester they are in country (exceptions noted in the statute).  Before International Teaching assistants are given a teaching position, their English oral abilities must be tested (the TOEFL used for admission does not count unless there's record of a speaking section).  Even ITAs from English-speaking countries, must take a course with a cultural orientation.  At UMSL, students satisfy this requirement with the ITA seminar, which also helps ITAs with classroom management and oral and written English.

Stipend Pay: Graduate students who are hired to graduate assistant titles are paid monthly.  The monthly stipend for a graduate assistant depends on their FTE and whether they are a masters, Ed.S or Ph.D student.  The minimum stipends that should be paid at each level are listed about halfway down on the graduate assistantship webpage.  The monthly stipend is paid over the term of the assistantship appointment. 

Appointment Terms:  The start and end of assistantship appointments should correspond with the start and end of academic terms.  Fall appointments are typically from 09/01-12/31.  Spring appointments are typically from 01/01-05/31 and summer appointments are typically from 06/01-08/31.  All Summer appointments require a separate hire; however, Fall + Spring appointments may be combined into a single nine month appointment. 

Graduate assistants cannot be fired before the end of their contract without Dismissal for Cause procedures.  Although Fall+Spring nine month appointments are acceptable, the Graduate School suggests that students be hired by term with continuation based on first-term performance.  If a student is hired over two or more semesters, the department must verify that the student is enrolled in the appropriate number of hours each semester of employment.  Any GA who is not enrolled must either be terminated or have the title changed to a non-graduate student title.

Assistantship Expectations:  Graduate Assistants serve a vital role by assisting faculty and staff in carrying out teaching, research and administrative support activities.  Students appointed to graduate assistantship positions should review the Graduate Schools Expectations for Graduate Assistants.

Tuition Support:  Departments should verify that each student hired as a Graduate Assistant meets and maintains eligibility for their assistantship.  This includes gpa, enrollment and FTE eligibility.  The Graduate School and the Office of Research Administration require that graduate assistants whose stipends are funded by an external grant must have their tuition paid by that grant if allowed by the granting agency. 

Any department who wishes to cover student tuition (partial or full semester tuition) from a departmental or grant account, will want to set up a tuition award with the Financial Aid office.  Once a tuition award is set up, it can be used semester after semester to cover tuition for one student or multiple students.   

The departmental or grant mocode will need to have a student aid budget line in Peoplesoft Financials.  If your mocode has been used to pay onto a student’s account in the past, the budget line should already be there. 

  • Enter the mocode and other financial information onto the Financial Aid Scholarship form. The scholarship form can be found on the Forms page of the Financial Aid office website:  http://www.umsl.edu/services/finaid/forms/index.html
  • Choose a name for your award (students will see this name in MyView when your award pays)
  • Enter the student number(s), tuition amount(s) and semester(s) that you want to pay.  Also indicate ‘full tuition’ or ‘partial tuition’ so the appropriate award can be set up.  Tuition rates can be found here:  http://www.umsl.edu/cashiers/tuition-fees/rates.html
  • Send the form to the Financial aid office (the email address is listed on the form).  Expect about a 7-10 business day turnaround from Financial Aid

Degree granting units have a number of allocation ‘slots’ that can be used for tuition support from the Graduate School.  Allocation slots can be used on students who meet the assistantship eligibility requirements and are performing teaching, research, retention and/or recruiting duties. The Graduate School will not approve Tuition Scholarship requests for students who have not been hired to a qualified graduate assistantship appointment and who are not enrolled in the appropriate number of credit hours.