Policy on Undergraduate Course Assistants

The University recognizes that, under appropriate circumstances, it can be beneficial for undergraduate students to assist faculty members with the grading of certain types of course work and by providing additional sessions to review and master course material.

Undergraduate course assistants (“UCAs”) can derive significant benefits from having this additional opportunity to work with faculty members, while the assistance of UCAs can enhance learning in these classes as a result of the peer-to-peer interaction.

Furthermore, the ability to employ UCAs can mitigate the work load created by high- enrollment courses, allow faculty members to devote more time to their advising and teaching responsibilities, and otherwise manage their courses more effectively.

The University has therefore adopted the following policy for the use of UCAs:

  • Faculty members bear full and final responsibility for the grading of all student work submitted in their courses.
  • Subject to the following conditions, faculty members may engage UCAs to assist with the grading of course work and the running of review sessions and/or assistance in precepts or classes, under the supervision of the faculty member or a designated Assistant in Instruction:
  • UCAs should participate in the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning training session developed for their specific role (e.g., grading or assisting with review sessions).
  • UCAs may not grade student work for a course in which they are currently enrolled.
  • UCAs who tutor, run review sessions, or assist with precepts should not also grade assignments. UCAs may assist with course logistics and other “housekeeping” activities. UCAs should not work more than 10 hours per week on course support.
  • UCAs must work under the supervision of a faculty member who establishes appropriate procedures and guidelines to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the grading process. When employed to do grading, UCAs contributions should be confined to non-interpretive grading, i.e. assignments and problem sets where there is a clear right or wrong answer and a clearly articulated rubric.
  • All grading done by UCAs should be “blind,” i.e., without names attached.
  • UCAs should not have access to any personal student data, either through the course management system or other distributed materials.
  • UCAs must be selected through an open and well-publicized application process on the basis of their qualifications and agree to standard terms and conditions that will protect the confidentiality and integrity of the grading process.
  • Faculty members must disclose to their students the names of any UCAs who have been engaged to assist with a given course and accommodate students who express reasonable concerns regarding privacy or potential conflicts of interest.
  • Faculty members must make themselves or their UCAs available to consult with students who may have further questions regarding course work that has been graded by UCAs.
  • Any UCA who misuses student data; uses the role to either advantage or disadvantage a student in the course; or who does not adhere to course policies should be immediately removed from the position and may face disciplinary action. Course faculty are responsible for making this determination and reporting any potential disciplinary cases to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.
  • The Office of the Dean of the College will oversee the implementation of this policy and will set a standard rate for compensating UCAs. Funding for UCAs will come from the department offering the course.
  • Departments must register the names of the UCAs they employ with the Office of the Dean of the College. Student names, emails, and the courses they will be assisting should be emailed to uca@princeton.edu before a student begins working. If there is a conflict for a student to participate, the Office of the Dean of the College will notify you.

Please contact the Office of the Dean of the College with any questions regarding this policy.