The goals of this Harvard Chan School-wide policy on payment for teaching assistants are to set a minimum floor for payment of Teaching Assistants (TAs), Lead Teaching Assistants (LTAs), and Course Assistants (CAs); to make a distinction between TAs/LTAs, who have teaching responsibilities, and people who provide other forms of course support that are mainly administrative in nature; and to ensure that those who provide teaching and course support receive appropriate training.
The Teaching Assistant Payment Policy comprises three components:
- A classification system for positions that provide course support
- Guidance for the payment of Teaching Assistants and Course Assistants, including minimum pay rates
- Training for Teaching Assistants and Course Assistants where each component is discussed
Classification system for positions that provide course support
The School encourages departments to use different titles to distinguish among the types of activities performed by LTAs, TAs and CAs. However, departments may make their own decisions about titles.
Brief Description and Example of Responsibilities
|Lead Teaching Assistant (LTA)||Supervises other TAs in large courses; has significant responsibilities for design and instruction of course, in addition to all other TA responsibilities described below.|
|Teaching Assistant (TA)||Runs required or optional sessions, holds office hours, helps to develop assignments, grades student work when knowledge is required beyond a rubric, in addition to all responsibilities described in CA role.|
|Course Assistant (CA)||Manages course website, helps edit syllabus, liaison with AV, monitors chat in zoom/ breakout rooms, logistics for guest speakers. Does not provide any teaching.|
|Grader||Grades assignments/ tests per rubric answers provided by instructors. Graders may be paid hourly depending on experience and task.|
|Hourly Administrative||Updates Canvas pages, finds and replaces reading materials, schedules rooms, assembles materials for class, etc. Pay varies by pre-doc/post-doc and years of experience.|
Guidance for Payment of Teaching Assistants and Course Assistants (including minimum pay rates)
|Role||1.25 Credit||2.5 Credit||5.0 Credit|
|Lead Teaching Assistant (LTA)||$1,275||$2,550||$5,100|
|Teaching Assistant (TA)||$975||$1,950||$3,900|
|Course Assistant (CA)||$555||$1,113||$2,225|
Additional Guidance on Minimum Pay Rates
This rate will be paid to any TA who does teaching (e.g., runs required or optional sessions, holds office hours, helps to develop assignments, grades student assignments when knowledge of the material beyond a rudimentary grading rubric is required).
Some departments now vary the payment rate for TAs based on course size; this payment method is permitted under the new policy provided that the $1,950 (2.5 credit) minimum rate applies to any course with at least 25 students or more. Other departments pay TAs an hourly rate, up to a maximum number of hours per course; this payment method is permitted under the new policy provided that it produces a minimum payment rate of $1,950 for any TA who works the maximum number of hours allowed by the department in a 2.5 credit course (and the minimum rate above for courses bearing other credits).
Departments may also choose to pay higher rates. For example, a higher rate might be necessary when a course uses TAs who are GSAS students and so eligible to TA in courses at other graduate schools that would provide higher rates of payment.
Additional Guidance on Payment for Course Assistants
Course assistants may be paid on an hourly basis or a flat amount per course, up to a suggested amount of $1,113 per 2.5 credit course (or the equivalent for departments that use a centralized approach to providing course assistant support). The hourly rate should be based on the current University “Pay Rate Guidelines for Paying Students as Research or Teaching Assistants,” with a suggested cap of $1,113 per 2.5 credit course.
Minimum LTA/TA rates pertain to base work done to support a course and are processed in the Monthly Teaching Fellows Payroll.
CAs are paid through the Weekly Temp + Student Payroll based upon hours entered and approved by the department.
The LTA/TA rates apply to any LTA/TA who does teaching (e.g., runs required or optional sessions, holds office hours, helps to develop assignments, grades student assignments when knowledge of the material beyond a rudimentary grading rubric is required). Some departments vary the payment rate for LTAs/TAs based on course size; this payment method is permitted under the policy provided that the minimum rates are applied to any course with at least 25 students or more. In addition, a higher rate might be necessary when a course uses TAs who are GSAS students and thus eligible to TA in courses at other graduate schools that would provide higher rates of payment.
Other Compliance Issues to Consider
- Departments and students are responsible for understanding and documenting student eligibility for working in these roles.
- If you are hiring a non-student to do this work, you must contact HR or OFA for processing instructions.
- Students must be entered into the payroll system and paid in a timely manner. It is important to obtain required I-9 and other documentation, and complete the hiring process before a student begins
- In order to comply with the University’s “Pay Rate Guidelines for Paying Students as Research or Teaching Assistants,” TAs and LTAs may not work more than the maximum hours outlined separately for pre- and post-doctoral trainees – see Table Above.
- Federal immigration law for students on F1 and J1 visas limits employment to 20 hours or less per week while school is in session. All Harvard jobs held by a student must be considered when evaluating total hours worked by the student. http://www.hio.harvard.edu/campus-employment
- The Affordable Care Act mandates that employees, including student employees, who work more than 30 hours per week be offered an employee health plan. This makes it imperative that Harvard accurately manage and report graduate student appointments and the hours associated with them. https://hushp.harvard.edu/affordable-care-act
Training for Teaching Assistants and Course Assistants
The School’s TA policy strongly encourages departments to require all TAs and CAs to participate in TA training sessions. This information is also available here.
Please contact Jennifer Betancourt in the Office of Educational Programs for more information (email@example.com).