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ME Employment Policies and Procedures

Graduate Appointment

Graduate Assistants are appointed for a specific period, typically a semester to perform teaching or research services. Due to the joint nature of the College of Engineering, students may be employed by either university. Students should request a copy of their appointment and pay careful attention to the start and end dates of their appointment. Students will not be automatically re-appointed when their current appointment ends. The faculty member supporting the student must initiate the re-appointment process. Re-appointment requests must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the end of the current appointment.

Academic Integrity

As a graduate assistant, you are expected to uphold the standards of the academic honor system. You must report all instances, or reported instances of academic dishonesty to the course instructor immediately.

Conflicts of Interest

Graduate assistants must refrain from any activity or conduct, which creates either an appearance of, or an actual conflict of interest. Any questions concerning appropriate ethical behavior should be submitted to the supervising faculty member and/or graduate coordinator.

Professional Responsibilities

As a graduate assistant, you represent the Department and the University. Therefore, it is imperative that you conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times. This includes maintaining a completely professional relationship with the students and faculty. It is also your responsibility to perform the tasks related to your role as a graduate assistant in a timely and professional manner to the satisfaction of the supervising faculty.

Professional Development

All graduate assistants enrolled through Florida State University are required to attend the Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE) Teaching Conference during the fall semester. This three-day conference covers a wide variety of topics designed to help graduate assistants teach more effectively and to acquaint graduate assistants with various university policies.

In addition, the Department will hold Graduate Assistant Workshops during the beginning of the Fall semester and throughout the academic year, as needed. The purpose of the workshops is to familiarize both new and continuing students with departmental policies and expectations. The workshops will also help address issues specifically relevant to the department and or college, such as: how to effectively communicate with a diverse student population or how to effectively use and promote a group learning environment.

The overall goal of these workshops is to encourage and promote the professional development of teaching instructors by helping develop effective teaching and communication skills, which will lead to a better learning environment in the classroom.

Teaching Assistants

English Language Requirement

Students whose native language is not English must have, in addition to the ability to read and understand English, a reasonable proficiency in spoken English to pursue a graduate program in Mechanical Engineering. Such proficiency is necessary for a student to fully function in one of the research groups and to satisfy the teaching requirement.

A score of 550 or higher on the TOEFL exam will satisfy the admissions portion of the department's English language requirement. However, once a student has been admitted to the university they are required to take the SPEAK exam prior to assuming any instructional duties. Students should contact the Department for additional information.

Classification and Responsibilities

Grader

A grader must be a degree seeking undergraduate or graduate student in mechanical engineering or a related field.

Responsibilities

  • Grade all assignments according to instructor and/or department grading policies.
  • Insure the academic integrity of all work submitted and report any violations to the course instructor immediately.
  • Assist course instructor with the development and preparation of assignments.
  • Maintain reasonable office hours and respond to students in a timely manner.

Recitation Instructor

A recitation instructor must be a degree seeking graduate student and have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or a related field.

Responsibilities

  • A recitation instructor must be a degree seeking graduate student and have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or a related field.
  • All the responsibilities outlined for the Grader.
  • Attend lectures given by the instructor as needed.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by the course instructor.

Lab Assistant

The lab supervisor must be a degree seeking undergraduate or graduate student in mechanical engineering or a related field.

Responsibilities

  • All the responsibilities outlined for the Grader.
  • Adhere to all safety guidelines established by the university, department and course instructor.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by the course instructor.

Workload and Duties

There are varying workloads for different levels of appointment. Specific TA duties, both in and out of class, are defined by the supervising faculty member in charge of the course. Unsatisfactory performance by a TA may result in forfeiture of the assistantship.

Research Assistants

The supervising faculty member is responsible for assigning the specific tasks and monitoring the behavior of graduate research assistants.