Policy Details

Date of Last Update

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  • University Academic Senate / Provost

Responsible Office
Provost Office


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Graduate Assistantship

SG 6.03

  1. Policy
  2. Policy Statement
  3. History



The Graduate Assistantship Policy distinguishes Graduate level policies from policies detailed in the Shared Governance Faculty Handbook Policies that currently govern Undergraduate Student Employees SG 6.02

Graduate Assistantships serve several functions.  First, they provide graduate students with part-time, paid work experience.  Generally, this experience will be directly related to their field of study and will allow them to expand and/or apply their disciplinary knowledge and skills under supervision.

Second, they provide GVSU faculty and/or university staff assistance in carrying out special projects or other assignments that require the advanced disciplinary skills of graduate students.  Consequently, Graduate Assistantships facilitate direct interaction between faculty and graduate students through a unique educational experience while providing faculty more opportunity to fulfill their teaching, service and scholarship responsibilities.

Third, Graduate Assistants may serve in an instructional role where appropriate. Service in an “instructional role” requires that the graduate student works under the direct supervision of a tenure track faculty member who has final grading responsibility for the course.  This corresponds to policies that allow undergraduates opportunities for “assisting in laboratory and studio sessions” Undergraduate Student Employees SG 6.02.

In all cases, the activities assigned are to have educational value for the graduate student and are not to be used in lieu of hiring student employees for clerical and office support.  The opportunities provided to graduate students assigned a Graduate Assistantship clearly enhance the graduate student’s experience, enrich their education, and broaden their range of professional skills.

See The Graduate School website at www.gvsu.edu/gs  for additional information.

Policy Statement

General Policies

Grand Valley is committed to an open, well-advertised process of announcing positions and hiring graduate assistants.  Each department with approved Graduate Assistantships will publicize them, and ensure that qualified applicants for these positions are offered an opportunity to apply.  Available Graduate Assistantships should be advertised in recruitment materials, on the website of the department offering the Graduate Assistantships, and on the Student Employment electronic job board.  In addition, The Graduate School will either post or provide a web-link for every Graduate Assistantship.

In recognition that many Graduate Assistantships are used to recruit students to specific graduate programs, and that many students may not have ready access to the website, departments may use positions to recruit students to their own graduate program, without posting to the wider student community.  However, special positions funded through grants or from other sources that arise during the academic year should be fully advertised as noted above.


May 10, 2019  - FH 1.09 A-J was renamed SG 6.03