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Procedure 513: Graduate Assistant Employment

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Section 1. Purpose

The purpose of this regulation is to define Graduate Assistant employment and to describe the requirements and procedures for hiring and compensating them.

Section 2. Definition

In order to qualify for employment as a Graduate Assistant, the graduate student must be currently admitted to one of Metropolitan State University's graduate programs, and be making satisfactory academic progress.

Graduate Assistant positions will be required to work 14 to 20 hours per week and will be compensated as Student Workers. Graduate Assistants must be registered for a minimum of six (6) graduate credits each semester. Such appointments are limited to no more than three (3) years. Tuition remission is provided for Graduate Assistant positions.

Employment as a Graduate Assistants must:

  1. Enrich the learning experience of the graduate student;
  2. Provide services to the department, program, and university that advance the student' s graduate study;
  3. Provide financial assistance to qualified graduate students.

Section 3. Authority

This procedure is established in accordance with Minnesota State policy 4.5 Student Employees.

Section 4. Responsibility

The responsibility for implementation of this procedure is assigned jointly to the Chief Human Resource Officer, Student Payroll, and the supervisors.

Section 5. Sections, Effective Date

This procedure becomes effective immediately, and remains in effect until modified or revoked.

Section 6. Eligibility

Graduate Students seeking employment must:

  1. Have earned a bachelor's degree
  2. Be fully admitted to a graduate degree program prior to the beginning of the graduate student employment.
  3. Be continuously enrolled in the graduate program, carry at least six (6) graduate credits and maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  4. The position must advance the student's graduate study.

In the final semester before graduation, a Graduate Assistant who needs fewer than six (6) graduate credits to graduate may enroll for fewer than six (6) graduate credits and continue to qualify as a graduate assistant.

Graduating students’ last day of employment is the final day of classes for the term of the assignment.

The supervisor will verify continued eligibility of graduate assistants during the course of the assistantship. Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress or who drop below the minimum graduate credit hours of enrollment required will become ineligible for continued employment.

Section 7. Application Procedure

Vacant positions are posted on the Metropolitan State web site and require a cover letter and resume to be sent to the supervisor as indicated in the job posting.

Submission of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required only for the student to qualify for work study funds.

Section 8. Employment and Compensation

Concurrent Employment

Graduate assistants may not hold multiple concurrent Graduate Assistant appointments in different departments or administrative units.

Graduate Assistants may not be employed at the university concurrently as community faculty or in any other employment capacity during the period of Graduate Assistant employment.

If a graduate assistant's appointment is terminated or if s/he resigns to accept another position that is not a graduate assistantship and this occurs within the first three weeks of the term, s/he shall pay full resident tuition for that term.

If a graduate assistant's appointment is terminated or if s/he resigns at any time after the first three weeks of the term, s/he shall pay the remaining amount of the tuition remission, pro-rated based on 16 weeks per term. [Example: Graduate Assistant received $3,000 tuition remission and resigns after 9 weeks; repayment amount is for 7 remaining weeks of the term (7/16th of the tuition remission), $1,312.50]

Wages and Hours

Graduate Assistants will be paid on an hourly basis at rates set for student workers. The hiring department will determine the number of hours per week to be assigned, a minimum of 14 up to a maximum of 20 except during breaks and the summer when full­ time students may work up to 25 hours a week.

Tuition Remission

In accordance with Board policy, all Graduate Assistants receive in-state tuition rates. Graduate Assistants receive tuition remission for current credits excluding fees up to a maximum of 8 credits per semester; doctoral tuition is not eligible for tuition remission. In order to receive tuition remission, a Graduate Assistant has to start work within the first three weeks of the term. Tuition remission is not available for summer sessions.

The supervisor completes the tuition remission form showing the amount of tuition to be remitted to the student and the account to which it is to be charged, and submits it to the financial management office.

Section 9. Hiring Procedure Graduate Assistants

  1. The college/department develops a written position description of the graduate assistant duties and forwards it to the Provost for review and approval. Upon approval, the Provost sends the position description to Human Resources for approval by the Chief Human Resources Officer.
  2. Upon notice of approval, the college completes the Student Employment Opportunity form for posting on the university website and disseminates notice of the position broadly to inform all potentially eligible graduate students.
  3. The Hiring Supervisor reviews resumes and interviews eligible applicants, then selects the best candidate(s) to fill the position(s).
  4. The supervisor notifies all applicants and sends the appointee(s) a letter stating the conditions that are to be met for the position.
  5. The student submits a written statement of acceptance of the position.
  6. The supervisor completes and submits a Student Work Authorization Form (SWAF) to the Student Payroll office.
  7. The Graduate Assistant completes all necessary and required hiring documents with Student Payroll and begins employment.

Section 10. Review

This procedure is subject to review on an annual basis.

Section 11. Approval

Issued this first day of July, 2016

Virginia Arthur