Lecturer (SA) appointments in L&S: Selection, Hiring & Supervision

This document provides guidance to departments concerning the hiring of graduate students as graduate assistants with the title "Lecturer (SA)."

Background

Lecturer (Student Assistant)s, also referred to as LSAs, are graduate students who will teach a course in place of faculty or instructional academic staff. They are hired with the title “Lecturer (SA),” which indicates that they are in a student-assistant category.
The requests to hire LSAs are included in the Annual Planning Exercises for Teaching & Learning in L&S . In appointing Lecturer (SA)s, the College needs to consider both the appropriateness of the appointment and the supervision being provided. For best practices regarding deploying and supervising LSAs please see the following KB: Lecturer (SA) appointments in L&S: Supervision, Support, Evaluation 

Selection Criteria

  • The Lecturer (SA) title is exempt from the campus minimum qualifications policy (Policy on Minimum Qualifications for Instructional Staff). However, the Graduate student should be qualified to teach the course. In all but the most unusual situations, the student will have completed academic course work that puts them at least at the level of a master’s degree.
  • LSAs are typically hired for courses numbered below 700 that do not carry the graduate course attribute.
  • If the course does carry the graduate course attribute, we consider factors such as the following:
    • The course to be taught may be taken by Master’s level students, but the proposed Lecturer (SA) already has substantial work in the discipline beyond the Master’s level (e.g., has completed all coursework and is completing a dissertation in the area).
    • The course is one in which the graduate students from other fields enroll to supplement their core studies, but the instruction is not a core part of the advanced graduate curriculum in the instructor's discipline (e.g. foreign language instruction for a graduate student preparing to conduct fieldwork abroad; broad level introductory statistics or research methods in a field that uses statistical methods); or,
    • The graduate student who would be employed as the instructor is considered qualified under the terms of the campus-wide Policy on Minimum Qualifications for Instructional Staff (e.g. a student with an MSW teaching a course for MSW students).
    • These situations will be reviewed on a case by case basis and require approval by the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Academic Affairs, Lynne Prost.
  • Attention should be paid to ensure that the LSA appointment dues not interfere with the graduate student's time to degree.
  • Attention should be paid that the graduate student is eligible for an assistantship appointment.

Appointment Levels

  • The percentage of the appointment must be consistent with the teaching loads of renewable academic staff in your department. Lecturer (SA) appointment levels will be reviewed as part of the short-term staffing request process.
  • Departments may supplement LSA appointments to include additional compensation for professional development (requires approval, see below). The appointment letter should clearly distinguish the appointment percentage associated with each activity (e.g., 33.4% for teaching and 10% for professional development). The percentage of the appointment for professional development is up to departmental discretion, but the total appointment should not exceed 50%.

Professional Development

An increase in appointment percentage for professional development may be offered at the department’s discretion. A detailed Professional Development Plan must be approved. Plans should be sent to Lynne Prost for review and should include:
  • The LSA(s) and the mentor(s) for each
  • A detailed account of the expectations for both the graduate student and the mentor over the course of the semester
  • A list of planned professional development activities. These must include regular interactions with a faculty or instructional staff member (who may or may not be the individual on record as the direct supervisor of the LSA appointment), and might also include participation in appropriate and relevant workshops or similar programs, readings, classroom visits, literature reviews, etc.
  • The criteria for determining eligibility for the supplement (e.g., is this provided to all LSAs?)
  • A description of the assessment that will be used to determine the efficacy of the professional development training, such as an exit interview.
  • The stipend amount and percentage of the appointment, and the funding source you intend to use to cover the costs.
    • The department is responsible for all associated expenses. Departments can use 131 funds or gift funds to cover the professional development portion. Otherwise, you may charge the full costs of the appointment to STS 101 resources. The funding source will be reviewed by Mary Beth Roberts in the L&S Budget Office, and by your Academic Associate Dean.

Hiring procedure

  • Prior approval is required through the through the short-term staff planning exercise.
  • Appointment letters for Lecturer (SA)s require review by your STS/SA HR Rep. Letter templates and additional instructions are available on the following page: L&S Letter Templates for Short-Term Staff
    • If a Professional Development Plan has been approved, the percent appointment for professional development should be included as indicated in the letter template.

Supervision

  • All LSAs will be supervised by a faculty member or instructional academic staff member. The supervisor shoul have extensive knowledge of the course, the learning goals for its students, and the effort required to teach it.
  • If needed or available, someone else within the department that serves as an instructional resource may also be part of the supervising team (e.g., faculty/staff who teach extensively in a similar class format, pedagogy experts, those with expertise in classroom technology, etc.).
  • For classes with enrolled graduate students who may be considered peers of the Lecturer (SA), the College may further request that the supervisor evaluate the graduate students enrolled in the class, and/or provide additional instruction, and/or provide additional mentoring and assistance to the Lecturer (SA). These situations will be reviewed on a case by case basis and require approval by the Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Academic Affairs, Lynne Prost.
  • Please see the following KB for best practices supervising LSAs: Lecturer (SA) appointments in L&S: Supervision, Support, Evaluation 

Contacts for L&S Administration

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