Undergraduate Instructional Aides

Reference Number: S97-200
Senate Approval Date: Wednesday, January 01, 1997


Academic Senate Policy #S97-200

At its meeting of February 25, 1997, the Academic Senate approved the following

policy on undergraduate instructional aides:


Increasingly, undergraduates are functioning as Instructional Aides in the

classroom. The roles, duties, and responsibilities of both faculty of record

and Instructional Aides must be clearly defined in order to enhance benefits

to participating faculty and undergraduate students, and to ensure the integrity

of the academic process and its outcomes.


"Instructional aides" are undergraduate students who, as part of their academic

experience, are selected by faculty of record to participate in the teaching

of a regular instructionally related class. As part of this experience, the

Instructional Aides must be registered in a "685" course. It is not appropriate

for students to participate in these activities under any other course number

or name.

"685" is the course for which the Instructional Aide is receiving units of

credit. This course is a practicum/internship experience which includes an instructional

component and a fieldwork experience component.

"Faculty of record" are the supervisors to the Instructional Aides, determine

that the discipline-specific learning objectives of "685" are met, and are at

all times in charge of the regular instructionally related class.

"The regular instructionally related class" is the course in which the Instructional

Aide is assisting.


The primary purpose of Instructional Aides in the classroom must be to provide

the student, who is earning units of credit for "685," with a genuine learning

experience which is consistent with that student's overall educational and career

goals. Assisting the instructor must be secondary.


The faculty of record, who is an employee of the university, must remain at

all times in charge of the regular instructionally related classroom. The faculty

of record is responsible for preparation of the syllabus and the learning objectives

for the class in which the Instructional Aide is assisting, being present whenever

the regular instructionally related class is formally in session, and being

responsible for the evaluation of the students taking the regular instructionally

related class.

The faculty of record is also responsible for supervising and evaluating the

Instructional Aide, and for working with the Aide to understand the learning

objectives of "685".The faculty of record also ensures that the Aide participates

in planned training in the principles of teaching and learning, and the preparation

necessary to function as an effective Instructional Aide.

Faculty of record who are supervising Instructional Aides are strongly encouraged

to take advantage of workshops and support groups, to be offered by the Center

for the Enhancement of Teaching, on the supervision of undergraduates in the



Each Instructional Aide must be enrolled in a "685" course. This course has

two components, an instructional component and a fieldwork component:

1. Instructional component:

To foster the intellectual growth of Instructional Aides, to ensure their continued

learning, and to prepare them for assuming responsibilities as an Instructional

Aide, each student must be trained in teaching and learning principles.

Additionally, each student enrolled in "685"shall meet on a regular basis with

the instructor of the class for which s/he is an Instructional Aide to ensure

that all the discipline-specific and the general learning objectives are being

met. These consultations may also focus on discipline-specific or class-specific

elements of the regular instructionally related class. The learning objectives

and training methods for the course"685" must be clearly stated.

2. Fieldwork component:

Instructional aides may, for example:

  • lead rehearsals or practice sessions while the instructor is present;
  • run laboratory classes while the instructor is present;
  • tutor, mentor, and lead study groups;
  • assist in preparing non-exam materials and distributing un-graded materials;
  • provide feedback to the instructor on student performance; and
  • run audio-visual equipment and deal with props.

Instructional aides may not:

  • be enrolled concurrently in the class for which they are an instructional


  • design the course syllabus or learning objectives;
  • grade non-objective tests or papers;
  • write exams; or
  • have access to student records, including addresses, phone numbers, social

    security numbers, and grades.

Any and all activities of the Instructional Aide, including contributing to

lectures, presentations or demonstrations, or leading class discussions, must

be carefully monitored by the instructor of record, who must be present at all

times when the regular instructionally-related class is formally in session.


Each academic unit (e.g., program, department or college) wishing to

include Instructional Aides in the classroom shall create and offer a course,

numbered 685, and titled "Projects in the Teaching of..." and each Instructional

Aide shall be enrolled in the appropriate "685" course.

Syllabi for the course "685" must clearly state the learning objectives for

the Instructional Aide and the methods being used to train the Instructional

Aide in the principles of teaching and learning. This training may be offered

by the academic unit or may be taken under the auspices of the Center for the

Enhancement of Teaching (CET).

"685" shall be a variable unit course which may be taken for a maximum total

of 4 units of credit toward the baccalaureate degree. Each program or department

shall decide whether or not "685" may meet part of the requirements of its major.

Each academic unit shall determine which of its course offerings are suitable

for the use of Instructional Aides.

FTE shall be assigned to the academic unit which offers "685." Instructor Weighted

Teaching Units(WTU) for "685" shall be assigned by the program or department

to the instructor.


Each "685" course shall be approved through the standard course approval process.


Each academic unit shall decide upon its criteria for Instructional Aides and

shall set up a process for application and selection of students to be enrolled

in "685." Opportunities to be an Instructional Aide enrolled in a "685" must

be announced along with specific criteria to be met. Every Instructional Aide

must be a currently matriculated student in good standing, who has already completed

the regular instructionally related class, or its equivalent, for which s/he

will function as an aide.


Deans shall be responsible for seeing that this policy is followed in their

respective units.


This policy shall be re-examined by the Academic Policies Committee three years

after its passage to evaluate its success and determine whether it shall continue

in effect.

**Approved by President Robert Corrigan on March 12, 1997**