Policies and Procedures for Graduate Assistantships (GAs) at QU

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1 Policies and Procedures for Graduate Assistantships (GAs) at QU Introduction Qatar University offers Graduate Assistantship (GA) awards on a competitive basis to selected newly admitted graduate students applying from inside Qatar as well as from outside. All of those applying for admission and satisfy admission requirements and eligibility for the assistantship will be considered for the award. The graduate student is expected to assist in laboratory instruction and teaching related tasks. The duties of the GAs are performed under the supervision of faculty members in the academic department. The number of graduate assistantships awarded depends upon the teaching needs in each college as they relate to course offerings, laboratory sections, enrollment, and number of faculty members involved. A graduate assistantship will be paid an hourly rate for the number of work hours executed per month. This is supposed to cover tuition, housing, travel and other personal expenses. Definition Graduate Assistant (GA): Graduate assistants are full time postgraduate students registered toward the fulfillment of a graduate degree requirement at Qatar University (QU). The graduate assistant will work in direct support of course and laboratory instruction and will assist students on a regular basis in accordance with the load assigned by his or her department chair or designated supervisor which may include other academic duties. Graduate assistants are directly supervised by faculty members. They are not considered employees of Qatar University. Table (1) defines the full-time minimum enrollment status for a graduate assistant (GA) in the Fall and Spring semesters. The GAs should not register for less than 9 credit hours per semester unless in the last semester where the student is expected to graduate. Duties of a graduate assistant can be a combination of teaching assignments and other services assigned by the department. 1

2 Table (1): Full-time minimum enrollment status and number of service hours Number of registered credits paid by QU Teaching service hours to the department Other service hours as assigned by the department Total GA s load distribution (%) % % % % Eligibility and Application Process A student may be considered for a GA position based on: 1. The student is either accepted for admission or already enrolled in a graduate program at QU. 2. The student has demonstrated an exceptional performance at the undergraduate level (for those applying for a Master degree) or Master s level (for those applying for a PhD degree). Exceptional performance is defined by no less than a GPA of 3.5 out of 4.0 scale. 3. A graduate assistant who is applying for a program that is either taught in English/Arabic or uses English/Arabic extensively, must fulfill the language proficiency defined by the University. Application for a graduate assistantship should accompany the application for admission to the graduate degree program. Deadlines of applications for the GA are the same as those for admission. Maintaining the GA All those benefiting from the GA scheme must satisfy the following: 1. The student must maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA while at QU 2. The student must be in good academic standing at QU. A student on probation is not eligible for a graduate assistantship and can not hold one. 3. A student who is appointed as a full-time graduate assistant at QU should not hold, simultaneously, other employment commitments. 4. A student is not permitted to hold a graduate assistantship at QU concurrently with an assistantship at any other institution. 2

3 Appointment The Chair of the Department should recommend to the Dean of the relevant College the names of the admitted students who are recommended for graduate assistantship, their academic status, workload, and assigned duties. The list of recommended GAs must be received by the Deans offices at the same time the list of approved accepted graduate students list. Those students selected to receive the GA positions are informed in writing after they confirm that they will be attending QU for graduate studies. Once all approvals are confirmed and prior to the starting date of the appointment, newly accepted graduate assistants should receive a letter ( ) from VPCAO office (with a copy to the Dean and Chair of the concerned GA) summarizing their general duties and a link where they can find the QU rules and regulations. In the first week of commencing duty, graduate assistants will go through an initial orientation session of their assigned duties by their supervisors as designated by the Chair of the Department. This may include a description of specific duties, standards for evaluation of performance, training as appropriate if GAs are assigned to laboratory instructions, and resources available amongst others. A hard copy of the assignment in general or specific terms will be given to the GAs. Once the graduate assistant arrives on campus, a special contract should be prepared and signed at the QU HR office; a copy will be handed to the GA for his/her future reference. In case a student resigns from a GA appointment before the end a semester, the student should send a letter to the Chair of the Department as early as possible, stating the reasons for his/her resignation. Termination of a contract must follow the QU procedures and guidelines. Reappointment to a GA position is contingent upon prior performance, departmental research and teaching needs, and available funds. Meeting the Language Proficiency Requirements New graduate students must show that they have met the minimum English language proficiency requirements (TOEFL or IELTS tests), as well as that of the Arabic language proficiency requirements, if required. Applicants should contact their academic departments or the Admission Office for further information. Maximum Duration of GA Support The maximum length of a full-time GA for receiving support is limited to the normal length of time for completing the degree, in most cases not to exceed two years for a Master s degree student and four years for a doctoral degree student. 3

4 Responsibilities and Load The duties and responsibilities of GAs should be clearly stated in the contract. GAs will serve under the direction and supervision of appointed faculty members as designated by the Chair of the Department. The following guidelines apply: 1. Graduate teaching responsibilities may include assignments such as assisting in laboratory sessions, teaching tutorials and help sessions, help in grading laboratory reports/papers and quizzes, proctoring exams, and organizing/uploading course handouts as instructed by the supervising faculty. In addition, graduate assistants could be assigned additional academic and/or research duties as deemed appropriate by the department chair. 2. Full-time students awarded GAs are not allowed to work outside the University. 3. Full support for a GA is defined as being registered for 9 credit hours. 4. A full-time GA works 20 hours per week. 5. GAs are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity and abide by college and University rules and regulations. 6. GAs are not permitted to enroll in any course for which they are assigned assistantship responsibilities. 7. A GA who drops a course, withdraws from the University, or resigns an assistantship after the drop and add period of the semester, will be responsible for all expensespaid. 8. A GA can hold only one assistantship at a time. Compensation A GA will be paid QR180 per hour for 20 hours of work per week. He/she is personally responsible for all of his/her expenses, including housing, tuition, insurance, travel and any other incurred expense while studying at Qatar University. Evaluation The faculty member supervising or directing the instructional activities of the GA, should complete an evaluation form of the student s performance at the end of each term and submit it to the department chair. The department chair will evaluate all GAs working in the department at the end of every academic year, and provide each one of them with a written evaluation of performance. A copy of this formal evaluation should be sent to the dean s office, and to the VPCAO Office for record. Summer Appointment of GAs If no teaching assistantships available during the summer, GAs may be hired as research assistants by faculty who have research grants, or be assigned other duties based on the approval of the VPCAO. 4

5 End of Contract Graduate assistants are expected to meet the standards of performance described at the time of their appointment, and to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree. Their contract may be terminated with one month s notice at any time that their performance is considered to be unsatisfactory by the concerned department. Although, immediate end of contract may be called upon for serious misbehavior or failure to perform and attend to duties, all terminations must follow the legal guidelines adopted by QU. Any appeals of the termination decision should also follow QU guidelines. Housing Housing for graduate students is available at Qatar University. Each graduate student will have his/her own room. The rent at QU housing is 2,000 QAR per month. This includes the rent, three meals per day and transportation from the housing complex to campus. For those who decide to use QU Housing, please contact Mr. Ibrahim Hashim Al-Sada, Section Head of Male Student Housing, OR Tel.: When you contact Mr. Ibrahim, make sure to give your arrival date and time so that they can arrange to receive you at the Airport. For those who prefer to live outside the university housing, the rent ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 QAR per month and transportation is not included. The university does not arrange for outside housing. 5

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