A common form of professional development and financial support for graduate students at ASU are graduate research and teaching assistantships. PhD students may work as TA's or RA's for any unit on campus although most SHESC students work at these positions within SHESC. TA positions are generally offered by the academic unit teaching the course, and most units prefer to hire their own students to TA their courses. RA positions are generally offered by the faculty member whose external grant is funding the project, and may hire within their unit or from another department depending upon the needs of the project. Master's students may not work as TA's but may work as RA's.

SHESC Procedures on TA Assignments

There are two ways SHESC makes TA offers. A limited number of incoming students are offered recruitment packages, which, provided the student is making satisfactory progress through the program, guarantee a TA for a certain number of years. Remaining TA's are allocated to students without other forms of funding (NSF fellowships or RA's, for example) based on student progress as determined by the student's approach or degree. TA's make the same salary (currently $18,000 in SHESC although this varies by unit) regardless of whether they are on a recruitment package or not. As much as is possible, SHESC attempts to make TA offers for the academic year because that helps both SHESC and the student make plans. However, sometimes for a variety of reasons (a student is offered a one-semester RA, a student goes in the field for data collection for only one semester, etc.) offers are made on a semester-by-semester basis.

Once all offers have been made and accepted, the TA assignment process can begin. TA assignments are very complicated because SHESC offers coursework for several undergraduate degrees (and within the anthropology degrees, several different approaches). Additionally, coursework is offered in a variety of formats including in person, hybrid, and online as well as 7.5 week and 15 week lengths. Assignments are based on three main factors: availability, suitability, and interest. We do attempt to accommodate faculty and TA requests when possible. However, in order to assign every course requiring a TA someone who meets all these factors, it is possible that not every TA will get their first choice assignment. Below is a timeline of the TA assignment process:

  • Annual evaluations are submitted in Spring (see Annual Evaluation tab on left for more info). If you are interested in working as a TA or RA, make sure you fill out and include the optional Application for Funding sheet.
  • Based on their progress, eligible and interested graduate students are ranked for the upcoming academic year to determine the order in which TA offers will be made. This ranked list is sometimes referred to as the "TA Pool."
  • TA Offers begin
  • Those students who are offered and accept a TA position fill out the new hire packet (if you have not worked at the University in the past 12 months)
  • All TA's will complete the TA Availability google doc. The link will be emailed at a later date. If your availability changes after filling it out, work with the graduate specialist to ensure your most recent availability is considered.
  • TA assignments begin going out during late July for Fall and late November for Spring (we usually finish this process by the 2nd week of December for Spring and the 2nd week of August for Fall). 
  • TAs are required to report to their faculty supervisor upon receiving the assignment and begin overview of the pre-semester checklist.
  • Throughout semester, TA's should keep the TA workload expectations in mind and speak up if they are finding the workload burdensome. Resources include the faculty member teaching the course, the graduate specialist, graduate director, or other members of the directorate.

Because this process is very time-consuming and complicated, it is vital for the graduate specialist, graduate director, and other individuals involved in the TA assignment process to have all relevant information as soon as possible. This means that if there is even the possibility that you will not be able to accept a TA offer, that you let the graduate specialist know. Similarly, if you receive fellowship funding, an RA offer, etc., after you have signed a TA offer, please be proactive in notifying the graduate specialist. SHESC is committed to ensuring graduate students are able to take advantage of the opportunities that are best for them at every stage of the degree. However, last-minute changes have a ripple effect and can inconvenience a great many people.

Teaching Resources

There are three main types of teaching resources linked below. The first set of links is to sources of technological help and teaching strategies endorsed by ASU:

The second set of links is procedural (what to do in certain situations). As someone who is also a student, you are also subject to these policies:

  • The TA/RA Handbook outlines university benefits and obligations that pertain to your position
  • The Student Code of Conduct: sets forth the standards of conduct expected of students who choose to join the university community
  • Student Alert Process: how to report student issues that may require follow-up (contains link to student alert form)
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities: SRR investigates allegations of student misconduct and determines whether a violation of the Student Code of Conduct has occurred

The third set is campus resources to assist students who need it. In your capacity as a TA, you may refer students to these resources. As a student yourself, you may take advantage of them:

  • Counseling Services: ASU Counseling Services offers confidential, personal counseling and crisis services for students experiencing emotional concerns, problems in adjusting, and other factors that affect their ability to achieve their academic and personal goals.
  • Campus safety: make sure you and those around you are safe!
  • Disability Resource Center: how to request or provide accommodations
  • Tutoring: includes Refworks, beginning and advanced research, and citation workshops. SHESC also has its own library guide, Mimmo Bonanni.
  • Career and Professional Development Services: ASU Career and Professional Development Services is dedicated to the career development of ASU students and alumni. They provide comprehensive services in all areas of career advising and assessment, career events and fairs, educational programs, and partnerships with local, state, regional, and national employers.
  • SafeZone: a program designed to increase the overall campus community's understanding and awareness of issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ) and other marginalized persons. Become an Ally!