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Indiana University Bloomington

Graduate | Scholarly Environment | Associate Instructorships

A large majority of graduate students are also Associate Instructors (AIs), responsible for teaching sections of multi-section undergraduate service courses such as C121 - Introduction to Public Speaking, C122 - Interpersonal Communication, C190 - Introduction to Media, and C223 - Business and Professional Speaking. Each of these courses is supervised by a faculty course director. Advanced and experienced A.I.s also teach in a wide range of other courses. A few A.I.s also serve as the directors of forensics and debate. Regardless of the particular appointment, each A.I. normally teaches 6 credit hours per semester, devoting approximately 20 hours per week to the teaching assignment.

The teaching mission of the Department of Communication and Culture is crucial to our overall commitment to intellectual and scholarly life. We take great pride in our teaching, and accordingly we go to great lengths to maintain the highest quality of undergraduate education and to contribute significantly to the professional growth and development of our Associate Instructors. To this purpose, entering A.I.s are required to take C545 - Introduction to Pedagogy in Communication and Culture during their first semester of teaching unless they can demonstrate having taken a comparable course at another university. Students who wish to develop their interests in pedagogy beyond departmental minimum requirements may register for the Certificate in Pedagogy as part of their program of study.

The department features an extensive A.I. training program (that typically begins for entering M.A. and Ph.D. students in a required workshop that takes place two weeks prior to the beginning of the fall semester) and each multi-section undergraduate course is placed under the direction of a full-time faculty member who serves as the course director. The department is firmly committed to standardized multi-section courses. Since these courses are required by several university programs, we must be able to guarantee absolutely that students who enroll in different sections will get the same experience. Accordingly, course directors are responsible for the content, principal teaching strategies and approaches employed in each course. The syllabus will be prepared by the course director and deviation from this by instructors is against departmental policy. Graduate students have been selected for this program on the basis of academic merit; no one has been "hired to teach," and no one is expected to contribute to the basic formulation of service courses. Such matters are distinctly faculty responsibilities.

The following policies and procedures concerning Associate Instructor appointments should be noted:

  1. A.I. appointments may be held only by full time graduate students in good academic standing. The maximum period for appointment while enrolled in the M.A. or M.A.T. degree programs is for two years/four semesters. The maximum period for appointment while enrolled in the Ph.D. degree program is four years/eight semesters. Initial appointments for the Ph.D. will be for a three year/six semester period. An automatic fourth year/two semester appointment will be granted providing that the student formally schedules his/her qualifying examination with the Director of Graduate Studies no later than March 15th of his/her third year of study and plans to take those exams no later than August of the same year.
  2. All entering graduate students with A.I. appointments are required to take C545-Introduction to Pedagogy in Communication and Culture during their first semester of enrollment.
  3. Students with a .375 AI appointment (the typical A.I. appointment where a student teaches two 6 credit hour courses each semester is a .50 appointment) or higher will receive a fee scholarship to cover the cost of tuition and most other assorted fees.
  4. Associate instructors must maintain a 3.2 GPA in approved graduate coursework taken on the IU-Bloomington campus in order to retain their appointment. Students with a GPA below 3.2 in a given academic year will not have their contract renewed for the next year, nor will they be eligible for renewal until their GPA is above 3.2
  5. A.I.s will plan carefully and fully for all class meetings.
  6. A.I.s will attend all required staff meetings and A.I. training sessions, including those that might be scheduled during orientation week prior to the beginning of classes in the fall semester.
  7. A.I.s will always meet their classes and they will begin and end their classes on time. If an emergency situation arises, it is the A.I.'s responsibility to notify the course director -- or, if that is not possible, a departmental staff member, or the Chairperson -- as much time before the class is scheduled to meet as is possible. No classes may ever be canceled without the expressed prior consent of the course director; A.I.s who do so may have their appointments summarily canceled.
  8. The department normally expects A.I.s to hold a minimum of 2 hours of scheduled office hours for each 3 credit course. The specific number of required office hours can be adjusted upward by individual course directors pending the specific needs of their courses.
  9. The department will provide materials necessary for teaching, and staff members will help to duplicate teaching materials prepared by A.I.s and approved by course directors when time allows. All materials to be duplicated must be given to a staff member at least 24 hours in advance of when they are needed. No other secretarial services can be provided, including services and materials for an A.I.s own graduate class work or research.