A teaching assistant (TA) assists faculty members with various duties which might include conducting labs or study groups, assisting with lecture preparation, marking assignments and tests, etc. Your TA work assignment may take place outside the department to which you are applying if your academic record shows strengths in other areas. Students receive a TA as part of their funding package at the time of application. To inquire about TA opportunities while in your program, please contact your department directly. Several departments also hire TA Mentors.
All Graduate Teaching Assistants can complete or update their TA Profile immediately after accepting their TA award through the TA Management System in Carleton Central. You do not have to be registered nor have paid your tuition fees in order to fill in your profile. As these profiles are used to determine appropriate and relevant assignments, it is not only important to fill in your profile but also important to keep your information updated. As long as you are an active TA, you can easily update your profile through Carleton Central. Please note that you must be a registered full time student to commence your TA assignment.
You and your instructor will need to fill out the assignment of duties form in Carleton Central. This online form, developed by your union and the university, clearly establishes how your assigned hours will be used. Weekly duties such as office hours, preparation time, discussion groups, lecture attendance, lab demonstration, supervision and cleanup, as well as other duties like grading and proctoring are all outlined in the assignment of duties form. Note that you will need to do this for each of your assignments separately.
TAs are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 4600 (Unit 1). More information can be found on the CUPE 4600 website
Accepting Your TA Assignment
Please note that as per the Collective Agreement Section 13.04 (f) TA assignment offers shall be accepted or declined within 10 working days of the date of the offer. Failure to accept an assignment offer by the above deadline without reasonable cause will constitute declining of the position for that term.
New TAs – please submit the appropriate paperwork to HR asap to set up an account (see “payroll information” below).
We ask that all graduate students who have a TAship in the winter 2017 term to register for their programs as soon as possible. This will allow your Faculty to begin the TA assignments, and allow for a better match between your skills, abilities, previous TA experience and your course assignment.
If you have a TAship, please update your “TA Profile” in the TA Management System. It is important that the Faculty is aware of any potential conflicts between your TA duties and other commitments.
If you plan not to take up your TA Fall assignment, please inform your department Graduate Supervisor immediately, and also complete a Leave from Duties form via Carleton Central (if applicable). More information can be found by scrolling down on this page.
For RAs and TAs who have never been paid by Carleton, you will need to set up an account with Payroll Services. Please submit the following documents, available under “New Casual Employee Forms” on the Human Resources website, along with a void cheque or direct deposit advice in the student’s name.
1. Personal Information form
2. Federal tax form
3. Provincial tax form
4. Confidentiality agreement
5. Mandatory Training agreement
Temporary residents must also submit:
- Letter of Confirmation of Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Photocopy of valid immigration document indicating eligibility to work (Work Permit or Study Permit)
Once you have completed the forms, you may send a secure PDF or zip file to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternately, you can password protect and scan your forms. Any questions can be emailed to email@example.com or by calling the office at 613-520-3628.
Carleton’s payroll schedule is twice a month. For the first month of the term in which you begin your studies, you will be paid on the second pay date of this month. If you would like to assign your TA pay to your Student Account, you can do this through Carleton Central when you register for your courses. More information regarding paying your tuition fees by payroll deduction can be found on the Student Accounts Receivable website (scroll to bottom of the page).
For a listing of upcoming pay day dates, please visit the Human Resources website.
Note: Only 92% of your TA and total graduate student funding will be applied to your student account or paid out to you. 8% is held back for taxation purposes.
New TAs are strongly encouraged to attend the mandatory New TA Orientation as part of the FGPA orientation for all new graduate students. Returning TAs are not required to attend this session. New international TAs should also attend the International TA Orientation. TAs who attend the TA Orientation can claim one hour towards their pedagogical training hours (see below for more information on pedagogical training).
Required Compliance Training
According to article 14.01 of your CUPE 4600 (Unit 1) Agreement, there are two different categories of TA training. The first is compliance training. This training is mandatory, one-time training that you must complete in the first 4-6 weeks of employment. After completing the training, you will be compensated, one time only, for 5 hours of pay at the regular TA rate (see article 23). Currently, there are three mandatory AODA training modules, the Workplace Violence and Harassment Prevention module, and the Worker Health and Safety Awareness module. Please read Human Resources’ detailed frequently asked questions on compliance training for details on the specific training requirements and payment. The Educational Development Centre (EDC) also provides a detailed description of compliance training. Note that the list of modules that constitute compliance training will continue to change. Questions on compliance training should be directed to Human Resources.
The second category of training is pedagogical. Pedagogical training refers to ongoing, voluntary training opportunities in the art and sciecne of education. These paid hours are available to all graduate TAs holding an assignment of 65 hours or more per term, as outlined in your CUPE 4600 collective agreement. TAs have an opportunity to complete five hours or less of pedagogical training for the academic year when the student is employed as a TA. Please note, training must be completed during the term(s) in which the student is working as a TA and must be completed before the deadline, November 30th for a fall-only TAship, and March 30th for a full academic year TAship or a winter-only TAship. TAs will receive payment for five or less hours (i.e., whatever exact number of hours you have completed) on their pay.
There are a number of options for TAs looking to earn their voluntary paid pedagogical training hours:
- Grad Navigate hosts professional development and wellness workshops and they all count towards pedagogical training hours.
- Carleton Central lists workshops, teaching talks, and department specific training under the ‘TA Training’ tab.
- On the Educational Development Centre (EDC) website, the TA Support Website lists details on workshops, alternate and self-directed training options, including peer feedback, peer mentoring, TA articles, and online workshops.
- Students should also talk to their departmental administrators and Graduate Chairs to ask whether their department has a TA mentor, and whether they offer department specific training.
The process for capturing session attendance is largely manual. It may take up to 2 weeks to see your pedagogical training reflected on your TA training transcript. If 2 weeks have passed and your attendance at the session is still not showing up on your TA Transcript, then it is time to contact someone. If your session was with the EDC (held in 404 or 422 Dunton Tower), please contact the EDC directly. If your session was with Co-Op and Career Services, Student Affairs, Health & Counselling, or Mitacs, please contact FGPA directly. If you don’t know which department hosted your session, then you should contact the session facilitator directly. Please note: You are strongly encouraged to track your progress independently of the TA Management System in order to ensure its accuracy. In the event of a discrepancy, you are responsible for ensuring your training is captured in Carleton Central.
TA Leave From Duties
If you were offered and accepted a TA position upon admission, you will be required to work for one term before receiving priority status for continuing your TA position for more terms.
Under some circumstances, you may choose not to work as a TA for a term and subsequently request a leave from your TA duties, once you have priority, to the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs. Leaves can be requested for the following reasons:
- academic research, exchange, and co-op positions;
- certified medical leave; family leave or
- any other reason where the Academic Supervisor and/or the Department Head provides reasons in writing as to how the leave would benefit the student academically.
In order to take a leave from duties and maintain your priority status, your leave needs to be approved in advance by the Dean of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs. To request a leave from TA duties, complete and submit the TA Leave From Duties Form in Carleton Central.
The deadlines to apply for a Leave From Duties are: December 31 (winter term), April 30 (summer term) and August 31 (fall term).
In some cases, although you maintain your priority for future terms of employment, the term you do not work is not replaced. In others (e.g. medical leave), the terms of future employment may be extended to make up for the lost term. Please check details in your CUPE 4600 collective agreement.