From Electrical Engineering TA Handbook
Hints for replying to email
It has become apparent that email from students is becoming increasingly time consuming. Most TAs feel obliged to respond as soon as possible and this is consuming too much time outside, which is interfering with their other responsibilities. If responding to email immediately is burdensome, it is advisable to program email response "days" into your schedule. That way, students would not expect instantaneous replies and can plan accordingly. A suggestion would be to plan perhaps 3 hours per week spaced like office hours so people would not expect immediate answers, but would know that answers are forthcoming. When announcing your office hours you can just include your email response schedule. It is advisable to ask people to copy the instructor and any fellow TAs and, in turn, have whoever answers the email copy the others so that there won't be duplication of efforts.Of course, it would be best if you suited the days to accommodate, as much as possible, the homework and exam schedules of the course so that people would be receiving responses at a time when it would be most useful. The students can, in turn, learn how to plan knowing that email service is not open-ended.
Sample TA Evaluation
This is a sample TA evaluation. Students complete these evaluations anonymously in the middle of every quarter. Encourage your students to complete them as completely as possible. This feedback is not only critical to becoming a more effective TA but will also be used to make decisions about future TA positions.
Instructions to students:
Please take the time to fill out this questionnaire thoughtfully. The information will be useful feedback to the Professor, the Teaching Assistant(s), and most importantly, to you, the students. This form is confidential, and your TA will never know who evaluated him or her.
|1||is much below average (poor).|
|5||is much above average (excellent)|
|NA||indicates not applicable.|
|1.||Level of preparation for sections/labs||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|2.||Presents material with clarity||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|3.||Provides helpful comments on homework||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|4.||Is responsive to students questions||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|5.||Effectively guides discussion||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|6.||Effectively uses examples to illustrate points||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|7.||Avoids being sidetracked||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|8.||Imparts enthusiasm for the subject||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|10.||Sufficient availability to students||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|11.||Fairness of TA||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|12.||Effort TA spent on class||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
|13.||TA's overall performance||1||2||3||4||5||N/A|
| Comments|| |
Student salaries at Stanford
How to get paid
Any student employee (RA, CA, TA, grader, etc.) must meet several requirements before receiving a paycheck. You must be registered in any quarter in which you are paid (including summer), make suitable academic progress, and maintain good standing in the University. If this is your first employment by Stanford, you will also have to fill out several forms:
- an "I-9 Verification" for the University and INS. To complete:
- Permanent Residents an unexpired resident alien card
- F1/J1 visa holders unexpired passport and a current I-20 or DS-2019 form
- U.S. Citizens a U.S. Passport; or a Certificate of U.S. Citizenship or Naturalization; or two documents: a state-issued driver's license or I.D. card with photograph (to establish identity) AND an original Social Security card or U.S. birth certificate or unexpired INS Employment Authorization (to establish employment eligibility).
- We will have to see and photocopy these documents; and sign the I-9 form.
- a Tax Data form (to instruct the University how much tax to withhold from your salary)
- if you do not have a social security number, a copy of your application (and then a copy of the actual social security card, when you receive one).
- W4/DE4 http://www.stanford.edu/group/fms/fingate/warning/w4de4_IRS.html
Each of these forms only needs to be filled out at the start of employment, but if there is a gap in your employment by Stanford you should check to be sure they are still on file. International students may also qualify for "tax treaty" status: some countries have agreements with the U.S. which exempt their students from some or all taxes. To claim an exemption, the appropriate forms must be filed annually. Check with the Bursar's office.
Note: If any of these forms is missing or outdated, your paychecks will be withheld, most likely until the next pay period!
How and When You Are Paid
Assistantship or grader salaries are processed through Stanford's regular Payroll system. Assistants and graders are University employees.
Deductions Federal, state, and social security taxes are withheld from salary checks. This withholding is reported like any other salary. Tuition amounts are not taxable or reported.
Schedule Tuition is automatically paid at the beginning of the quarter.
Payroll checks come twice a month, to the department, or you may arrange for direct deposit to your bank. Work performed from the 1st to 15th of a month is paid on the 22nd; the second half of the month is paid on the 7th. Student appointments, which are established in terms of the academic year, always follow a quarterly schedule:
| ||Appointment span||first check||last check|
|Fall||Oct 1 - Dec 31||Oct 22||Jan 7|
|Winter||Jan 1 - Mar 31||Jan 22||Apr 7|
|Spring||Apr 1 - Jun 30||Apr 22||July 7|
|Summer||July 1 - Sept 30||July 22||Oct 7|
If a check does not arrive on time
First, examine your own status. Are you registered? Is there a Hold on your registration? If this is your first check, have you filed all the appropriate paperwork? If you changed jobs, the check might be either at EE or at your old department - look in both places. Then, come to the EE office to report either that you have found and fixed one of the problems above and need a replacement check, or else to find out what is wrong. For an RA, the faculty member may have forgotten to initiate or renew your appointment for the quarter. In any event, we will try to find the problem and help you fix it.
Tax information for graduate students
Taxes constitute a complex subject. Below some general information is provided, but it should not be taken as official advice. Detailed information may be found at http://www.stanford.edu/group/fms/fingate/students/taxinfo/index.html.
Matriculated (Degree-Seeking) Students
Taxable and subject to withholding (but not FICA, Medicare or VDI)
Reported by Stanford on a W-2
International students May qualify for federal "tax treaty exemption" if one exists between the US and their country (Form 8233, Payroll office). The exempt amount is reported on Form 1042S. Should file federal Form 1040NR (available at the International Center at tax time and online) each year, and probably CA Form 540 (also available online).
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and resident aliens for tax purposes The stipend is taxable; however, it is not subject to withholding or reporting by Stanford. Students are responsible for making any necessary estimated tax payments. Federal Form 1040-ES is available in the Bursar's office. California Form 540-ES is enclosed with the CA tax return (or call 1-800-338-0505). International students The stipend is subject to 14 percent withholding; however, students may be eligible for a tax exemption if their country has a tax treaty with the US (Form W-8Ben, Payroll office). Stipend and tax withholding are reported by Stanford on Form 1042-S (not W-2) and mailed to the student Should file federal tax Form 1040NR and probably CA Form 540 at tax time each year All fellowship recipients can reduce their taxable income by amounts spent on fees, books, supplies, and equipment (usually not computers) specifically required for courses; students should keep all receipts for these items.
Nonmatriculated (Not Degree-Seeking) Students, for example, postdoctoral students
All support -- tuition, stipend. and salary -- is taxable.
- Exception: International students may claim a tax treaty exemption - if one exists between the US and their countiy - on whatever support the treaty covers.
- Exception: the tuition of "student employees" paid 10% or more by Stanford payroll may be tax exempt (See the "Working Condition Fringe" statement cited in the memo on Taxation of Postdoctoral Fellow Tuition Payments in Tax Year 1994 J. McGuire, 10/27/94).
Salary (Postdoctoral Research Affiliates and Clinical Specialists)
- Subject to all withholding
- Reported by Stanford on a W-2
- International students may qualify for federal "tax treaty exemption" if one exists between the US and their country (Form 8233, Payroll office). The exempt amount is reported on Form 1042S. Should file federal Form 1040NR (available at the International Center at tax time and online) each year. And probably CA Form 540 (also available online).
- U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and resident aliens for tax purposes
Though taxable, the stipend is not subject to withholding. The stipend will be reported to CA and the IRS (Form 1099). Students are responsible for making any necessary estimated tax payments
Federal Form 1040-ES is available at the Payroll office.
California Form 540-ES is enclosed with the CA tax return (or call 1-800-338-0505).
- International students
The stipend is subject to 14% withholding; however, students may be eligible for a tax exemption if their country has a tax treaty with the US (Form W-8Ben, Payroll office).
Stipend and tax withholding are reported by Stanford on Form 1042-S (not W-2) snf mailed to the student.
Students should file federal tax Form 1040NR and probably CA Form 540 at tax time each year.
Note: The brief discussion of tax items in this memo is not to be considered tax advice. Please refer to the IRS publications listed below. Where needed, students should seek competent tax counsel.
IRS Publications: #4 Student's Guide to Federal Income Tax; #501-Exemptions, Standard Deductions and Filing; #505-Tax withholding and Estimated Tax; #508-Educationa1 Expenses; #515-Withholding Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Corporations; #519-US Tax Guide for Aliens; #520-Scholarships and Fellowships; #525-Taxable and Nontaxable income; #901-US Tax Treaties. To order. call 1-800-829-3676.
Questions regarding taxes at Stanford should be directed to Connie Reddy firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enrollment deadlines and grading policies
Enrollment deadlines follow the same pattern each term, but the specific weeks and dates vary due to the varying lengths of Stanford's quarters and the various ways of counting the weeks in a term. The exact dates are printed in the Time Schedule and may be found on the Web at . This information comes from the Office of the University Registrar.
The study list due date falls at the end of the first full week of classes.
Courses may be added by students through the end of the 3rd week of classes.
Courses may be dropped by students through the end of the 4th week of classes, without any record of the course being kept on the student's transcript. No drops are permitted after this point, regardless of the grade or notation recorded in the course - including the "*", "I", "W", "NP", or "NC".
Grading Option Deadline
Students have through the end of the 6th week of classes to elect the grading option of their choice, in courses where the option of letter or CR/NC grading is offered.
A student may withdraw from a course after the drop deadline through the end of the 8th week. In that case, a notation of "W" (for "withdrew") will automatically be recorded on the student's transcript for that course. Students who do not officially withdraw from a class by the end of the 8th week will be assigned the appropriate grade or notation by the instructor to reflect the work completed (or left incomplete as the case may be).
Deadline for requesting an incomplete
If the instructor will allow a student to take an "I" ("Incomplete") in his/her course, the student must make the appropriate arrangements for that with the instructor by the last day of classes. See reverse for more information about Incompletes.
"NP" ("Not Passed") is used in courses taken for a letter grade but not passed. "NC" is used to represent unsatisfactory performance in courses taken on a satisfactory/no credit basis. "NC" and "NP" notations will be visible on student transcripts.
"CR" ("Credit") is used when a student's performance has been satisfactory in a course s/he elected to take on a satisfactory/no credit basis. "S" is used in courses where satisfactory/no credit grading is not student-elected, but instructor-mandated. "CR" or "S" require C- or better performance.
"W" ("Withdrew") is recorded when a student withdraws from a course between the start of the 5th and the end of the 8th week of the quarter. This notation is visible on student transcripts.
As stated below, the Registrar's Office will replace the original grade recorded for a course with "RP" ("Repeated Course"), when a student retakes the course. This notation is visible on student transcripts.
Incompletes must be changed to a permanent grade or notation within one year (i.e. prior to the first day of the fifth quarter which follows the course, including Summer Quarter). If the "I" remains uncleared after that time, it will be changed automatically by the Registrar's Office to a "NC" or "NP" as appropriate for the grading option selected. Also, students may not drop courses in which an Incomplete ("I" notation) was awarded.
C. COURSE RETAKES
A student may retake ONCE any course s/he completed (regardless of grade or notation earned - "NC" "I", "*", whatever!) or from which s/he withdrew and have the original grade or notation replaced by the notation "RP�� (for "repeated course"). When retaking a course, the student must register for the same number of units as when the course was originally taken, and the course number must match exactly the department number, course number, and suffix of the original course. Courses without matching numbers cannot be assumed to be equivalent and will not be accepted as retakes. If the course is being offered with a choice of grading options (letter grade or CR/NC), the student may, adhering to the usual deadline for electing a grading option, elect whichever grading option s/he wants (regardless of which grading option was elected when the course was taken for the first time). Upon completion of the retake, the Registrar's Office will automatically change three things in the student's record: the units for the first time the course was taken will be reduced to 00, the grade for that first time will be changed to an "RP", and the grade for the second time will be specially flagged on the student's transcript to indicate that it is a repeated course. Students may not retake a course again in the future (for a third time), unless they received an "NC" or "NP" when they took it for the second time. Upon completion of the third attempt, the Registrar's Office will automatically change the units for the second time to 00, and the third time will appear on the transcript with its units, grade, and the special flag to indicate that it is a repeated course.