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Graduate Assistantships


Policies and Procedures for Appointment

Conditions of Employment and Fee Assessment

A. Conditions of Employment

  1. Graduate assistants must be fully admitted, registered full-time* graduate students at Western Oregon University, working toward a WOU graduate degree at Western. Appointment as an assistant may not be for less than .15 FTE nor more than .49 FTE each term.  The University has established maximum numbers of credit hours for which assistants may register. These limits are related to work hours and FTE appointment.
    • Combined work hours should not exceed .49 FTE (1039 hours per year)
      • Full time is defined as nine (9) graduate quarter hours during the academic year and six (6) graduate quarter hours during summer session.  Graduate students in their last term may register for less hours as needed for their degree.
    • Graduate assistants must keep a minimum GPA of 3.0 to continue their employment in this capacity.
      • Students that are removed from their graduate program for failing grades will need to retake those courses before being re-instated or eligible for their position.
  1. If an assistant has been on an academic year appointment, serving in that appointment spring term, and the institution intends to re-appoint the assistant during the following fall term, the assistant may exercise the study privilege during the intermediate summer term.
  2. Graduate assistants may not be an employee of Western Oregon University or another state university during their time of assistantship.

B. Fee Assessments

  1. Graduate students appointed by the University are paid at established institutional salary rates based on minimum wage and are exempt from the payment of the instruction fee (tuition), on the first twelve (12) graduate credit hours per term. Graduate assistants are assessed and are individually responsible for payment of the building fee, incidental fee, health fee, one-time matriculation fee and any other fee approved for the University according to the the graduate student fee schedule. See WOU tuition and fees schedule
  2. The instruction fee up to 12 credits will be assessed to the employing division within the University. The Budget/Payroll Office will transfer funds to the employing division based upon the allocation determined. Upon the conclusion of the Fall term funding allocations will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.
  3. When an assistant is authorized to register for more than twelve (12) graduate credit hours per term, the institution shall charge the assistant the resident rate for additional instruction fee for the excess of the twelve credit hour limit.

Procedures for Employment of Graduate Assistants

A. Employment Parameters

    1. Full-time salary rate of $15,990 – $19,008 for a 9 month appointment.
    2. Calculate FTE on the basis of clock hours, using a 40 hour week for 5 days as the basis. For example, a student who is expected to work 12 hours per week as a graduate assistant would be budgeted at .30 FTE. Likewise one working 19.6 hours per week should be budgeted .49 FTE.  This calculation should also be used for Summer Session pay.

Quarter hour enrollment limitations should be set according to the following schedule:

Work Hours FTE Minimum credits Maximum credits
6 .15 9 16**
10 .25 9 14**
13 .33 9 12
19.6 .49 9 10

Deviations from the above listed credit hours requires prior approval of the Graduate Director.
** Graduate Assistantships are awarded for 9 – 12 graduate credit hours, additional hours must be paid by the student.

B. Employment Procedures

  1. Departments seeking authorization to offer assistantships should obtain approval by utilizing an “Employment Authorization”. This form can be obtained from the Human Resources Office, Administration 205 or off the website. Employment Authorization form
  2. After selection of an assistant the sponsoring division should complete the Employment Authorization and forward it to the appropriate Dean. The Dean will approve and forward to the Budget/Payroll Office for processing.

C. Enrollment Procedures

There must be an approved Employment Authorization before the tuition remission is applied. Failure to complete the Employment Authorization in a timely manner may result in late fees for the assistant.

To obtain remission of the instruction (tuition) portion of enrollment costs a graduate assistant should:

  1. Complete the Graduate Assistant Approval Request. This form is available online and should be input into the online Google document for tuition remission.
  2. Employing department will input information online at appointed Google document site. The input of this information will serve as a documentation of approval by department head.
  3. Graduate office will be given notice that Employment Authorization has been received by Business/Payroll office and will provide approval once Graduate Assistant Approval Form has been sent electronically.
  4. Payroll manager, Brandon Neish will provide tuition remission once all forms have been received and approved.

D. Communication with Graduate Office

  1. GA should notify Graduate office immediately (within 24 hours) of any changes to their registration status or schedule.
  2. Students that fail to complete all courses paid for by tuition remission may be asked to take subsequent terms off from their GA position.
  3. All students are required to have a GTA evaluation form submitted to the Graduate office by Wednesday of finals week in the term in which they are employed. Failure to provide this form will delay tuition remission for subsequent terms and could lead to additional late fees.

E. Deadlines

  1. Graduate Assistant Approval Requests and Employment Authorization forms must be submitted and received by the Business office no later than the last day of the prior term. Special consideration should be made for fall term to allow for processing during the holiday break. No forms will be accepted after the Friday of the first week of classes.