Biological Sciences

Teaching and Graduate Assistantships

Teaching Associates (TA's) are hired as part-time instructors. The responsibilities involve teaching in one or more laboratory sections of introductory classes. The TA will be responsible to the professor directing the lecture sections and may also be expected to aid the lecture class operation. TA's will receive office space and be expected to maintain regular office hours. Graduate Assistants (GA's) are hired as part of the departmental staff on an hourly basis with 20 hours a week considered a full-time position. GA's work in a large variety of roles including support for the Media Room, Stockroom, Herbarium, Museum, and Greenhouses. Information on salary schedules may be obtained from the departmental chair. Excessive outside employment or class overloads that interfere with assistantship responsibilities are considered inappropriate.

TA: In addition to the above responsibilities TA's will

  1. Teach up to 8 weighted teaching units per semester (12 hours of laboratory teaching per week) including exam set-ups, grading, and additional duties as assigned by the course supervisor.
  2. Hold 5 office hours per week.
  3. At the discretion of the professor, attend lectures of the courses in which they will assist.

GA: In addition to the above responsibilities GA's will

  1. Work 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. Work schedule will be arranged in consultation with their supervisor.
  2. Work 20 hours during registration week.
  3. Work a total of 30 - 40 hours during final examination week and the following week. Work schedules will be arranged in consultation with the supervisor.
  4. Weekend and holiday work may be required of GA's and will be considered part of the normal 20 hour work week.

Application Procedure:

To qualify for TA or GA positions, students must be classified or candidates in good standing and enrolled in the biology or botany master's degree programs. The department is particularly interested in hiring students who will obtain a master's degree and continue to contribute as professional biologists after leaving Chico.

Application for GA or TA positions includes

  1. A formal letter addressed to the departmental chair two weeks prior to the end of the semester. Any comments about appropriate background, training, or interests in a specific TA or GA position should be included in the letter.
  2. A resume.
  3. Three letters of recommendation from faculty or qualified individuals should also be sent to the biology department chair to support your application.
  4. Progress sheet signed by the major advisor or graduate coordinator. New students will, of course, not have a progress sheet.

Graduate students who are not already TAs need to do the following to apply for a TA position:

  1. Complete a Teaching Associate Application (PDF) for Employment 2.  Submit a letter stating your desire to be a TA. Please indicate course preference(s) and the number of labs you are willing to teach, and include a brief statement of your qualifications to teach labs in specific classes.
  2. Submit your curriculum vitae.
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation from faculty or qualified individuals.
  4. Please include your CSU Chico ID number on your letter or CV.

Selection Procedure and Criteria:

All applicants are screened and ranked by the graduate committee of the biology department. Graduate student applicants for TA and GA positions will be placed by the graduate committee into the following groups:

  • Highly recommended
  • Recommended
  • Recommended with reservation
  • Not Recommended

The department chair shall hire individuals in the highest group as TA's with the next highest applicants hired as GA's. Any deviation from this procedure must be approved by the graduate committee.

Although all students will be re-evaluated every semester, currently employed students who are performing satisfactory work and are maintaining appropriate progress on the degree programs will typically be given preferential standing.

Basic information used in the ranking process includes GPA, GRE scores, progress report, letter of application, letters of recommendation, and written performance review statements of supervisors for reapplicants. The ranking is provided as advice to the department chair. The department chair uses this ranking, departmental needs, personal interviews and advice from individual course instructors in offering the positions. The hiring and rehiring is the complete responsibility of the department chair.