Performance and Obligation of Assistantship
In articulating School policies related to graduate assistantships, our guiding principle is that the student's academic and assistantship responsibilities are closely interrelated. The School of Art strives to be a campus leader in its sensitivity to the academic needs of graduate students. To this end, we should maintain, whenever possible, our commitment to keeping first-year graduate assistants from teaching. Asking inexperienced young artists to teach can be harmful to their academic progress and does not support the broader educational goals of the School.
In turn, the student must remember, whether working in a technical support capacity or teaching a course, that when they accept an assistantship from the School they are also accepting an obligation to carry out all assigned responsibilities in a competent and professional manner. If a student fails to live up to the terms of their contract, either by not meeting minimum academic requirements or by not adequately performing their responsibilities, they face serious consequences including the potential loss of the assistantship.
In their first year of study, the student will normally be assigned to a technical/administrative support role in the School. It is the policy of the School of Art that, whenever possible, an incoming graduate student on assistantship will not be assigned to teaching. Exceptions will only be made with the approval of the Director, the Graduate Coordinator, and the Division Head. The nature of technical duties assigned will be determined by the Graduate Coordinator working in conjunction with the Director and the Division Chairs.
During Orientation/GradStep Week (one week prior to the beginning of classes), the first-year graduate assistant meets with the Graduate Coordinator to discuss and receive an assistantship assignment. The Coordinator will make every effort to match student abilities and experience with School requirements. After receiving the assignment, the student meets with the immediate work supervisor to plan a weekly schedule balancing the student's academic schedule (including ample independent studio time) with the carrying out of necessary functions.
.25 assignment = 10 hours per week .38 assignment = 15 hours per week .44 assignment = 18 hours per week .50 assignment = 20 hours per week
If a student is making satisfactory academic progress and has performed well in their first year technical assistantship, they will normally be assigned a teaching assistantship in their second year of study; pending availability of sections.
However, the student must remember that teaching is a privilege that will not automatically be extended. At the beginning of the Spring Semester prior to a student's second year of study, the Graduate Coordinator, together with the Division Heads and the School's Director and/or Associate Director will review the student's performance of his/her technical assistantship, as well as his/her academic and studio work. In rare circumstances a student may be judged not ready to teach, in which case they will be re-assigned to a technical assistantship. A more common outcome of the meeting will be that a student, while ready to teach, will be assigned to meet regularly with a faculty mentor. This activity is in addition to the requirement to enroll in ART 693 Pedagogy during the student's first semester of teaching.
The Graduate Coordinator will work with the Area Heads employing teaching assistants, as well as the First-Year Program Coordinator to determine the exact course assignment. A graduate student engaged in teaching must adhere to the same standards and codes of conduct applicable to all University faculty as described in the Faculty Handbook. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to learn and abide by these standards.
Since in most cases the student is teaching for the first time, Area Heads and the Graduate Coordinator should closely supervise his/her progress. If a student is struggling in the classroom, the Graduate Coordinator should be notified and a plan of action formulated to address the perceived problem. Most students will face difficulties stemming from inexperience with organization, writing a syllabus, developing assignments, grading, language difficulties, etc. However, difficulties arising from behavior such as chronic lateness or absence from class or harassment of students based upon gender, race, or sexual orientation will not be tolerated.
If such problems are identified, the Division Chair and Area Head in charge of the area in which the student is teaching will meet with the student to determine the nature and cause of the problem and to determine a solution. If, after a set period of time the Division Head or Area Coordinator judges the meeting ineffective, the student will be placed on probation for the remainder of the semester. If there is a recurrence of the problem at any point in the remainder of the semester, the student's teaching assistantship will not be renewed for the following semester. If the misconduct occurs during a student's final semester in residence, the student risks not being awarded the degree.
In order to remain on a School of Art graduate assistantship, either in studio support or teaching, students must be in good academic standing with the University and be making satisfactory progress toward a degree. Good academic standing is defined in the Graduate Catalog as:
- 3.0 GPA
- no more than two incompletes at any one time.
- timely completion of departmental requirements other than coursework such as comprehensive exams, thesis research, foreign language requirements, etc. by departmental deadlines.
- the absence of any suspensions, probations, or other disciplinary sanctions as described in the Student Affairs Handbook.
Satisfactory academic progress in a program also involves maintaining the standards of academic and professional integrity expected in a particular discipline or program; failure to maintain these standards may result in the academic dismissal.
A course taken for graduate credit in which a D was received may not be used to meet degree requirements nor to meet the minimum credit hour requirements for a graduate degree; however, the hours and grade are used to compute the cumulative grade point average. If a graduate student repeats a course, each grade received is counted in computing the cumulative grade point average. To compute GPA, the total number of points (on the 4.0 scale) is divided by the total number of hours undertaken for graduate credit, excluding courses in which the marks INC, IP, S, U, or W/P are recorded.
It is possible for a student to lose funding at the end of a term and be placed on probation (without funding) for the subsequent term. Graduate students are required to demonstrate "satisfactory progress toward the degree" in order to maintain a teaching or research assistantship. Failure to make "satisfactory progress toward the degree" normally results in probation and can lead to dismissal. Satisfactory progress means that master's students must maintain an overall average of 3.0 and doctoral students must maintain a 3.2 grade average.
The Graduate College monitors all graduate student records at the end of each term once grades have been posted. A list of students whose grades fall under 3.0 (for master's students) or 3.2 (for doctoral students) is sent on to the degree program for review.
The following should be considered in cases of unsatisfactory progress. The accumulation of two or more Cs, a D, or an F should cause the student and the graduate coordinator serious concern. These grades are clear warnings to the student in question that he or she is not making acceptable progress toward the degree. Students should be notified in person about their lack of satisfactory progress and the graduate coordinator or other members of the graduate faculty should articulate clearly what the student must do to be successful.
If the Graduate College determines that a student is not in good standing at the end of a term, the student will be placed on probation, continued on probation, or dismissed; students will be notified in writing by the Graduate College. Decisions about probationary cases that are not clear-cut and dismissals will be made collaboratively between the graduate coordinator and the dean designate. When a student is continued on probation, the graduate coordinator will prepare a student success plan for the student that clearly states the outcome required for the student to remedy the academic deficiencies.
Students are rarely dismissed after only one semester of low grades unless they were conditionally admitted. However, students should not normally remain on probation for more than two semesters unless they are very close to a 3.0 or 3.2 and can demonstrate the ability to earn A's. If it is determined that a student already on probation is not likely to earn A's, dismissal should be considered in a timely fashion, rather than allowing the student to continue with little to no chance of successful completion. Final approval of dismissal rests with the graduate dean designate. If the decision is made to dismiss the student from his or her program of study, the Graduate College will notify the student in writing and the Registrar will make the proper notation on the student's record.
Academic honesty is the central value of an academic community. It is expected that graduate students will neither engage in nor facilitate cheating (using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids), fabrication (falsification or invention of any information or citation), or plagiarism (representing the words or ideas of others as one's own) in their academic work. The Academic Honesty Policy can be found at the following web address: http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/sa/studentdiscipline/index.html
The Academic Honesty Policy contains strict sanctions, including expulsion, for all forms of academic dishonesty. Students found guilty of violating other University regulations, such as engaging in moral and ethical misconduct, or in actions that are injurious to others or threaten the orderliness and well-being of the campus, are subject to equally strict sanctions in accordance with the provisions set forth in those regulation.
Supervision of Assistantships
The assistantship supervisor, normally the Division Chair or Area Head for the area in which the student is working, will monitor the weekly completion of responsibilities. If the Supervisor determines that a student is not carrying out assigned duties in an acceptable manner, the Supervisor will meet with the student to review the problem and determine a solution. The School will not tolerate:
- Chronic unexcused lateness.
- Chronic unexcused absence.
- Failure to adequately perform duties, either through inattention, recklessness, or willful damage to equipment or facilities.
- Consistent failure to observe safety rules.
If, after the initial meeting, the Supervisor determines that the student's performance is not improving, the Supervisor will notify the Graduate Coordinator who will then meet with the student and the student's Graduate Advisor/Major Professor. If poor performance continues the Graduate Coordinator will make one of the following two recommendations.
- The student will be placed on probation for a period of four weeks. If at the end of that period the student is still not meeting expectations, their assistantship will be withdrawn. If after the successful completion of the probationary period difficulties re-emerge, the student's assistantship will be withdrawn.
- In the case of serious violations of policy, the Graduate Coordinator, in consultation with the Assistantship Supervisor, the Director and/or Associate Director of the School, and the members of the student's Graduate Review Committee, may decide to immediately revoke the assistantship. Examples of such offenses include but are not limited to: theft, vandalism, assault, and threatening or harassing behavior.
Failure to maintain any of these standards may result in a loss of funding and the student may be placed on academic probation (without funding) for the subsequent term. The following are considered indicators of unsatisfactory progress:
- accumulation of two or more C's, a D, or an F.
- failure to pass one of the three School of Art graduate reviews required of all M.F.A. graduate students.
If at the end of an academic semester, or at one of the three official student thesis review meetings, it is determined that a student is not in good academic standing, and not progressing toward a degree, the student's Graduate Review Committee will make one of the following recommendations:
- If a student is not in good academic standing due to failure to pass a graduate review and a subsequent re-review the Graduate Review Committee will recommend:
- withdrawal of assistantship funding. Student may continue in the program without assistantship. Student may reapply for assistantship after one year.
- dismissal of the student from the program.
- withdrawal of assistantship funding. Student may continue without funding and has one semester to bring GPA up to 3.0 and satisfy any outstanding incompletes.
- dismissal of the student from the program.
Other Forms of Academic Misconduct
- Academic honesty violations including but not limited to cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, and plagiarism (consult the BGSU Student Handbook for definitions, descriptions of disciplinary procedures, and penalties).
- Racial and ethnic harassment (consult the BGSU Student Handbook for definitions, descriptions of disciplinary procedures, and penalties).
- Sexual harassment (consult the BGSU Student Handbook for definitions, descriptions of disciplinary procedures, and penalties).
- Moral and ethical misconduct.
The adjudication of such offenses is governed by the policies and procedures described the University's Policy on Academic Honesty, and the BGSU Student Handbook.