THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA GRADUATE SCHOOL


Graduate School > Publications > Administration of Graduate Assistantships
 
Categories of Graduate Student Employment
 
The term Graduate Assistant refers generally to a graduate student enrolled at the University who is employed to assist a faculty or staff member in the areas of administration and research or to serve in some instructional capacity at any time. The type of assistantship is determined by the nature of the appointment - the tasks, responsibilities, and the services required.

Graduate Administrative Assistantship (GAA)
A GAA assists the University's administrative staff or that of a specific department within the University by collecting, ordering, and interpreting various kinds of administrative data. A GAA may assist at registration, help with departmental exhibitions, or work on special projects of a wide variety. Minor activities may include attending seminars, doing library research, and holding conferences. Assistantship appointments are typically for the 9-month academic year or fall and spring semesters.

Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA)
A GRA assumes research-oriented responsibilities such as library research, computer programming and analysis, fieldwork, laboratory experiments, scientific investigations, writing and editing material, etc. Assistantship appointments are typically for the 9-month academic year or fall and spring semesters.

Graduate Student-Monthly and Graduate Student-Biweekly
All Research assistantships supervised by Contract and Grant Accounting are titled and coded differently from departmental GRAs. See table below.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA)
A GTA serves an instructional role in a class or laboratory within a specific department of the University, performing pedagogical (teaching) functions such as preparing lectures, conducting classes, constructing and grading tests, holding student conferences, and assigning course grades. Because the majority of Graduate Assistants are GTAs, you will find that a major portion of this Guide is devoted to specific information about teaching. Assistantship appointments are typically for the 9-month academic year or fall and spring semesters.

For the purposes of reporting to the university’s accreditation body the Graduate School identifies two groups of GTAs:

  1. Those who are the primary instructor of record for a class and who will have primary responsibility for teaching a course and/or assigning final grades. These students must satisfy the SACS “18 hour rule” requirements and, if they are non-native speakers of English, they must also have successfully completed the university’s ITAP (please see International Students later).
  2. Those who are not the primary instructor of record and who will not have primary course teaching or grading responsibility but will assist an instructor of record. This category includes tutors (e.g. Community Music Teachers), athletic department staff, Recreation Center Staff, etc.
  3. This category also includes those assistants who will be marking and grading class work.

    Separate occupation codes have been established for each of the above categories and must be used as appropriate.

Graduate Student Assistant (GSA)
A Graduate Student Assistant is appointed for any other category of employment. It is used for those students who are not on a regular assistantship and are usually hourly paid.

The Banner Account Number and Position Class that must be used for each category of assistant are as follows:

Position Title Acronym Banner Account Code Position Class
Graduate Administrative Assistant GAA 602110 60030
Graduate Research Assistant GRA 602110 42030
Graduate Teaching Assistant - Teaching GTA 602106 40050
Graduate Teaching Assistant - Assisting GTA 602106 44010
Graduate Student Assistant GSA 602102 60040
Graduate Student - Monthly GSM 602110 60050
Graduate Student - Biweekly GSB 602110 60060


Summer Appointments

Where surplus funds are available, departments may appoint assistantships in the Summer. The Graduate School does not require students to attend school in the Summer and therefore the normal minimum registration policies do not apply.
Please use the regular Banner Account, Position Title, and Position Class Number.

Other Assistantship Types
Academic Affairs has established unique Position Titles and Position Classes for the following groups:
60070  Graduate Student - Athletic Tutor
61040  Graduate Student - CMS Teacher
60080  Graduate Student - Library

 


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