The Graduate College

Core Training Overview

To complete the Core Graduate Assistant Training Module (required for all Graduate Assistants):

First, read/view all content in the sections below. Each page has links to go to the next page, go to the previous page, or return to this table of contents page.

After you have read/viewed all of the Core Training content below, log on to Blackboard, access the "Graduate College" organization (ORG-GRAD.007) and complete the CORE TRAINING QUIZ. The Core Training is not complete until you have successfully completed the quiz in Blackboard.

How to Complete Verification Quiz (Blackboard)

Expectations for Graduate Assistants



Graduate and Research Assistants contribute to the mission of the University by providing effective support for the faculty in their teaching and research:

As paraprofessionals, graduate assistants fulfill these roles:

  1. assist faculty in lecture courses; 
  2. facilitate laboratory sessions;
  3. conduct experiments;
  4. assist with the development of quizzes & exams;    
  5. provide research support for faculty;
  6. assist with presentations & reports, and
  7. provide a variety of other critical services



Graduate and Research Assistants must meet these qualifications:

  1. Pursue a graduate degree at North Carolina A&T State University
  2. Register during the academic year for a specific number of hours prescribed by the department
  3. Maintain a 3.0 grade point average and make progress towards the graduate degree
  4. Satisfy other requirements of the employment department (i.e. write a thesis, etc.)
  5. Sign a Graduate Assistantship Contract (New)
  6. Complete Graduate Assistant Training (Online Training)

Expectations for Graduate Administrative Assistants (GAAs)


A Graduate Administrative Assistant's duties primarily involve assisting the University's administrative staff or that of a specific department with collecting, organizing and analyzing various administrative data. A GAA is most often involved in performing computer work, editing, recruiting and working on special projects.


Expectations for Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)


A Graduate Research Assistant is one who assumes research oriented responsibilities which involves library work, computer programming, analysis, field work, laboratory experiments, scientific investigations, or other endeavors. GRAs are normally employed by the principal investigator of a funded research project.

GRAs support the research mission of the university. GRAs are expected to work 10 to 20 hours per week. They conduct research in an area relevant to their major course of study under the direction of a faculty member. The research normally supports the faculty advisor's research and is supported by external funding. The research work generally leads to the student's thesis or dissertation. Research assistants supported through a research grant contract will assist faculty members in the completion of contracted research. They may be required to also contribute in the preparation of reports for continuing projects and proposals for new grants.

General GRA duties include:
  • Setting up research laboratories and experiments;
  • Performing experiments, calculations, and analyzing the results; and disseminating new knowledge orally or ¡n written publications;
  • Reflecting on the state of the field and proposing new research problems:
  • Attending conferences to present results and collaborate with other researchers;
  • Training and supervising less experienced research personnel;
  • Publishing research results in conferences, journal papers and research reports: and
  • Assisting in preparation of new proposals.


Eligibility for GRA Position 

Eligibility for Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) is established by the director/principal investigator and/or the academic department. The recipients of research assistantships will be selected by the faculty member who directs the laboratory or research project. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate qualifications for the position as demonstrated by (a) completion of courses related to the topic of the research, (b) prior research experience, or (c) research interests consistent with the project. Preference may also be given to doctoral students.

GRA Training

Graduate Research Assistants are required to receive lab safety training (laser safety, chemical hazard safety, etc.) before working in any lab.Graduate Research Assistants will also receive training in research ethics, intellectual property rights, publications and patent policy. 

Expectations for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and GA-Academics


A Graduate Teaching Assistant or GA-Academic serves in an instructional role in a class or laboratory within a specific department at North Carolina A&T State University. GTAs may perform pedagogical functions, such as, preparing and grading tests, holding conferences, assigning course grades, or providing support for the faculty member in charge of the course. In all cases, the GTA works under the supervision of a faculty member.

GTAs support the instructional mission of the university. They are expected to work 5-20 hours per week and are involved only in undergraduate instruction. Qualified GTAs perform instructional duties in their area of expertise. Based on their academic qualifications, GTAs may be asked to work outside their home departments. A&T faculty members oversee all GTA duties.

General GTA duties include:
  • Instruction in a classroom setting:
  • Instruction in recitation sections;
  • Conducting help sessions and holding office hours to advise students with class assignments;
  • Assisting with laboratory setup:
  • Proctoring examinations;
  • Grading papers, exams. laboratory reports, and homework; and
  • Other duties pertaining to the instructional mission of A&T.

Eligibility for GTA position
A student is eligible to hold a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) position if a student is enrolled full time in that semester, is in good academic standing, and has a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher on all graduate courses. A Graduate Teaching appointment may also be determined by additional criteria including communication skills and adequate preparation in the subject area. Graduate Teaching assistants are evaluated every semester to maintain their assistantship.

English Language Proficiency

Before assuming teaching assistant duties that require contact with students, a non-native, non-primary-English-speaking graduate student must be certified as proficient in oral and written English.

Official Assistantship Policies


Professional conduct is important because:

  • You have a dual Role: Student & Professional
  • Your primary objective is to earn your degree
  • GA helps by providing financial support and apprenticeship experience
  • Represent the university
  • You conduct yourself with a high degree of integrity
  • Will meet with supervisor to share your class schedule, plan your work schedule and know the job expectations
  • Your assistantship may require work during the semester breaks

Professional Development

  • Valuable work experience
  • Prepares you for workplace
  • Attend professional conferences
  • Attend university sponsored training
  • Co-author articles and presentations
  • Build your vita/resumé
Your assistantship provides excellent opportunities to enhance the quality of your graduate education.

Appointment period

All assistantships are generally made for an academic year (9 months). A separate appointment for summer term can be made depending on the source and availability of funding and approval of the supervisor.

Notification of appointment

Notification of awards should be in the form of a contract (the template will be created by the Graduate College) from the academic unit, and should state that the appointment is contingent upon approval by the appropriate budget official, dean and provost, and/or continuation of funding. The notification letter should contain information about the appointment period, compensation, expected duties, teaching and research load, review and renewal procedures, and tuition waivers if any.

Renewal and Reappointments

Students must reapply for each additional year of graduate assistantship support. Continuation of graduate assistantship support from year-to-year or semester-to-semester is not guaranteed. Renewal of support is based on a number of factors including: (a) satisfactory progress toward degree completion, (b) satisfactory completion of prior assistantship responsibilities, and (c) availability of resources.


A Graduate Assistantship may be terminated before the expiration of its designated term due to loss of funding, for cause, for academic delinquency, by written notice, and by voluntary mutual agreement.

Loss of Funding. A graduate assistantship may be terminated due to a loss, reduction, or reallocation in appropriation, grant, contract, gift, or other funds with which to support the appointment.

Cause: The following are examples of sufficient cause for removal from an assistantship position: incompetence, inefficiency, wanton carelessness or neglect of duty, violation of research ethics, violation of safety protocols. insubordination, and repeated or extended absence.

Academic Delinquency. Not making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or is otherwise not in good academic standing.

Voluntary Agreement. With the agreement of the University, an appointment may be terminated by the voluntary written resignation of the GA.


Pay scale

Graduate Assistantships arc based on degree level (Master's or Doctoral), progression in the graduate program, and academic discipline. Pay rates may vary by student experience, funding source, discipline, and responsibilities of the appointment. The University will set the minimum and maximum salary scale for all categories of assistantships. The salaries will be competitive and ensure fairness. Departments should monitor their pay practices for consistency to ensure that individuals are paid in accordance with the published pay scales.

Tuition Remission

A Graduate Assistant may be eligible for tuition remission or reduction, as well as payment of required fees. The funds associated with GTA tuition remission are allocated to the academic schools and colleges. Allocation to individual students is managed by the schools/colleges.


Each department is responsible for determining procedures for review and evaluation of graduate assistants and for informing GAs of these procedures. The process of evaluation may vary by departments, and may include written assessment of work by an individual faculty member, classroom visitation by designated faculty members, and written student evaluations. The results of reviews and evaluations should be discussed with the GA concerned.

Essential Legal and Ethical Issues

This page and the following pages provide information about key ethical and legal responsibilities that impact graduate assistants.

Overall Code of Conduct

A Graduate Assistant's teaching, research, and administrative activities are subject to the ethical precepts and codes of the academic profession, the laws of the State of North Carolina regarding its employees, the laws of the United States, and University policies governing institutional obligations. Violation of any of these requirements constitutes a basis for disciplinary action in accordance with procedures set forth in the University's policies. In their interactions with students, faculty, and all other members of the university community, GAs are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism, ethics, sensitivity and thoughtfulness.

Many graduate assistants will have access to information about students, employees, or research subjects at NC A&T. Much of this information must be kept confidential, and you should not share any information without first consulting your supervisor.

You must be very careful with personal or academic information of students, employees, and research subjects. Be careful with written and typed documents that contain student information. Do not leave such materials out in the open where passersby might view them. Use safe file-saving and file-sharing practices (make sure your supervisors know where files are located). Make sure you do not take this information with you out of the office. 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that places restrictions on the disclosure of student information (including student ID# and grades). The general principle is this: student education records (of current and former students) are confidential, and without the student's written consent, such records may not be disclosed to, or discussed with, any unauthorized person -- even the student's parents in most cases.

The only people at NC A&T who may examine a student's education records without the student's consent are University employees with a legitimate educational interest in the record at issue. Breach of confidentiality is grounds for discipline, and may subject the person who violates confidentiality to liability in a civil lawsuit.

The Registrar's Office has additional information about FERPA:

What is Title IX?

The Title IX Office handles sexual harassment and misconduct issues at NC A&T. Title IX of the U.S. federal Education Amendments of 1972 mandates that no person shall be excluded from participation in or discriminated against on the basis of sex in programs or activities at educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Acts of sexual violence, harassment and/or misconduct are forms of sex discrimination. Sexual discrimination is prohibited by Title IX. A&T takes such matters seriously and will investigate complaints of violations of sexual misconduct. Complete contact information for the Title IX office can be found on the main Title IX webpage.

"It's On US" Video

View the NC A&T "It's On US" video (opens in a separate tab) and then return to this page to read the information below.

Responsible Employees

As a graduate assistant, you are an employee of the University and you thus considered a "responsible employee" with regard to Title IX. As a responsible employee, you have a duty to report incidents of sexual violence or misconduct to the University’s Title IX Coordinator or other designated University official. If you witness such an incident or if a student comes to you for help after an incident, follow these steps:

Report information immediately:
NC A&T is “on notice” once sexual misconduct has been reported to you. As a Responsible Employee, you are expected to report to the Title IX Coordinator within 24 hours of receiving the report. 
Report ALL available information to Title IX Coordinator:
  • Name of Victim and/or Reporting Party

  • Name of Alleged Person(s) (if known)

  • Date, Time, and Location of Incident

  • Any details regarding the incident.

  • You are not to investigate what has been reported to you. An investigation is handled through the Title IX Coordinator.

Connect the student with resources:

  • Counseling Services (336-334-7727)

  • University Police Department (336-334-7675)

  • Student Health Center (336-334-7880)

 Report through one of the following options:

Be caring & compassionate to the reporting party.

  • Do remain calm and be prepared for a range of responses.
  • Do know your campus resources and services. (Refer to the Title IX Website for resources and services.)

  • Do not make judgment values about someone’s life or experiences.

  • Do not ask insensitive questions.

  • Do not start your own investigation.

See this handout from the Title IX Office, which provides a STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE for University employees.

Nondiscrimination Policy

NC A&T does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Title IX Coordinator at

Academic Dishonesty Policy

As an employee of the University, you are responsible for following up when you witness academic misconduct of dishonoesty. If you have concerns about instances of academic misconduct/dishonesty, please follow up with your department and/or with the Office of the Dean of Students. The NC A&T Academic Dishonesty Policy is below.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is committed to academic integrity and honesty for all students. Examples of Academic Dishonesty include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating or knowingly assisting another student in committing an act of academic dishonesty;
  • Plagiarism (unauthorized use of another person’s words or ideas as one’s own) which includes but is not limited to submitting examinations, theses, reports, drawings, laboratory notes or other materials as one’s own work when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person.
  • Unauthorized possession of examinations or reserve library materials, destruction or hiding of source materials, library materials, or laboratory materials or experiments or any other similar action;
  • Unauthorized changing of grades or marking on an examination or in an instructor’s grade book, or such change of any grade record;
  • Aiding or abetting in the infraction of any of the provisions anticipated under the general standards of student conduct; or
  • Assisting another student in violating any of the above rules.

A student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty has failed to meet a basic requirement of satisfactory academic performance. Thus, academic dishonesty is not only a basis for disciplinary action but may also affect the evaluation of the student’s level of performance. Any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty is subject to disciplinary action as defined below.

In instances where a student has clearly been identified as having committed an academic act of dishonesty, the instructor may take appropriate punitive action including a loss of credit for an assignment, an examination or project, or award a grade of “F” for the course subject to the review and endorsement of the chairperson and the dean. Repeated offenses can even lead to dismissal from the University.