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For all Graduate Assistants

Last revision: June 28, 2023


The General Information Guide (GIG) contains many of the procedures followed by the Department of Mathematics. It has been compiled for instructors teaching basic mathematics courses. However, much of the information contained in the GIG is useful to all faculty and staff. The Mathematics Department's Graduate Student Handbook and the FSU General Bulletin are also good resources for important policy information as well as the material available through the Office of Graduate Studies.
The GIG is divided into three parts. The first part lists the Department's administrators and staff. The second part contains general requirements and obligations of Graduate Teaching Assistants. The third part details matters that are related to classroom teaching. It is very important for instructors to follow the policies outlined in this document and Graduate Teaching Assistants are responsible for knowing and following these policies. Deviation from these policies can lead to significant difficulties for the department. For example, if Graduate Teaching Assistants fail to leave their gradebook and final examinations with their course coordinators, then the Department will not have the necessary documentation to answer students' questions about their final grades.

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WASHINGTON MIO, Chair, (LOV 227, mio@math.fsu.edu)
MONICA HURDAL, Associate Chair for Academic Affairs, (LOV 223, mhurdal@math.fsu.edu)
GIRAY ÖKTEN, Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, (LOV 221, okten@math.fsu.edu)
ALEC KERCHEVAL, Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, (219 LOV, kercheva@math.fsu.edu)
ETTORE ALDROVANDI, Director of Pure Mathematics, (215 LOV, ealdrov@math.fsu.edu)
LINGJIONG ZHU, Director of Financial Mathematics, (226 LOV, zhu@math.fsu.edu)
RICHARD BERTRAM, Director of Biomathematics, (213 LOV, bertram@math.fsu.edu)
ZIAD MUSSLIMANI, Director of Applied and Computational Mathematics, (218 LOV, musliman@math.fsu.edu)

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The advisors and staff below are the departmental staff that TAs will work with through their jobs as a TA.


LISA MACKAY-RING, Undergraduate Academic Program Specialist for majors, (205-D LOV, (850)644-7727, advisor@math.fsu.edu) Undergraduate Advisement/Tracking, Eligibility Problems, Transfer Credit Evaluation, Grade Changes and other Academic Forms, Coordinates Math Honors Day/ Pi Mu Epsilon.
ELIZABETH SCOTT, Graduate Academic Program Specialist, (205-B LOV, (850)644-2278, emscott2@fsu.edu) Graduate Advisement/Tracking, Graduation List, DIS Number Assignment, Create MAT89xx Sections, TA grid/schedule confirmation, Backup Master Course Scheduler, Various Graduate Forms (DIS, ATE, Dissertation), Back up for Undergraduate Eligibility Problems.
ISABELLA TOMMASONE, Advising First Advisor, (205-B LOV, (850)644-5868, emscott2@fsu.edu) Undergraduate Advisement/Tracking, Eligibility Problems, Transfer Credit Evaluation, Grade Changes and other Academic Forms, Coordinates Math Honors Day/ Pi Mu Epsilon.


SABRINA BOUIE, Financial Associate (226 LOV, (850)644-8708, sbouie@admin.fsu.edu).
PAOLA CABALLERO, Administrative Assistant (225 LOV, (850)644-3778, pc22i@fsu.edu).
GINA W. FORT, Business Manager (222 LOV, (850)644-3788, gmward@fsu.edu). Budget Manager for all Departmental Accounts and Grants, Grant Appointments, Oversees Travel including Hotel and Flight Reservations and Travel Reimbursements, Purchasing, OPS Budget management, Oversees Special Purchases, Oversees Payroll and HR Matters, Staff Coordination, Notary.
MONICA JERRELS, Human Resources Representative, (224 LOV, (850)644-8714, mjerrels@fsu.edu). Faculty HR, Teaching Assistantship and OPS Payroll processing and tracking, Documentation and Data management for employment of International and Domestic Students, Visa processing and updates, Notary.
PRISCILLA TRAVIS, Administrative Support Assistant, (208 LOV, (850)644-2202, ptravis@math.fsu.edu). Hotel and Flight Reservations, CONCUR travel expense reports, Special Purchases (Departmental P-card), Copier Usage and Paper ordering, Departmental Supplies, Class Syllabi, Letters of Recommendation, Correspondence, Faculty and TA Semester Office Hour Listings, Honors Day Certificates, Defense/Seminar/Colloquia Notices, Mailboxes, Shipping & Receiving, System package detailing/ OMNI Receiving, Maintenance Repairs, Key Master, Phone Master, VIP Poster Designs.


TAs work closely with the specialized faculty to run large enrollment freshman level courses. The course coordinators work with instructors to ensure consistency in standards and record keeping. Each course coordinator has certain procedures that have worked well for his/her course; and each GTA must carry out the course coordinator's instructions completely and promptly. Instructors should discuss course-related problems with the course coordinators or with Coordinator for Basic Mathematics or the Coordinator for GTAs. The course coordinators and the Coordinator for GTAs will help instructors with matters about drops, cheating, final examinations, make-up tests, incomplete grades, etc. The following is a list of coordinators.
NIHAN ACAR, Coordinator for MAC2233, (MCH 115-B, nacar@math.fsu.edu).
KRISTINA BOWERS, Coordinator for MAC1114, (MCH 115-H, kbowers@math.fsu.edu).
MICKEY BOYD, Director of Computing Resources, (LOV 004D, boyd@math.fsu.edu).
ELYSE BUDKIE, Coordinator for ACE Mathematics Tutoring, Teaching Faculty, (MCH 115-O, budkie@math.fsu.edu).
BRIAN EWALD, Instructor of Actuarial Mathematics, (LOV 205C, ewald@math.fsu.edu).
ANGIE HARRIS, Coordinator for MGF1106 and MGF1107, (115-E MCH, harris@math.fsu.edu, http://www.math.fsu.edu/~harris)
LEAH HOLLINGSWORTH, Coordinator for MAC1105, Coordinator for Basic Mathematics GTAs (MCH 115-C, hollings@math.fsu.edu, http://www.math.fsu.edu/~hollings)
PENELOPE KIRBY, Outgoing Coordinator for GTAs, Calculus I, (115 L.5 MCH, kirby@math.fsu.edu, http://www.math.fsu.edu/~pkirby/, (850)980-0835)
COURTNEY SIMMONS, Interim Coordinator for MAC1140, Incoming Coordinator for Senior GTAs(108-D MCH, simmons@math.fsu.edu).
YAINELY VALDES, Coordinator for MAD2104 and MAD3105 and Scheduling Support, (115-B MCH, yvaldes@math.fsu.edu, http://www.math.fsu.edu/~yvaldes/)
EMILY WILK, Teaching Faculty, ( MCH, ewilk@fsu.edu)

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Teaching Assistant, Research Assistants, and FSU Fellowships

The information in this document is useful for all students funded through the Mathematics department or with FSU Fellowships. In particular, this material is important for Graduate Assistants (TA and RA) as well as FSU and Departmental Fellows (those funded students are grouped in the abbreviation RA/TA/Fellow). An individual student's funding often varies during a student's years to the PhD - some students may fall in each of the categories in one term or another. Most will teach as a TA at some point while they are a PhD student in Mathematics.

All Graduate Assistants at the Florida State University (hence math RA/TA/Fellow) are subject to the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida and the United States, the regulations of the University and Collective Bargaining Agreement between Florida State University, and the United Faculty of Florida-Florida State University Graduate Assistants United 2021-2024. All graduate assistants at FSU work under a contract negotiated by United Faculty of Florida-Florida State University-Graduate Assistants United (UFF-FSU-GAU) and Florida State University. UFF-FSU-GAU is the labor union certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for graduate assistants at FSU. To find out more information about the UFF-FSU-GAU, their web address is http://fsugau.org. Additionally, you may join the UFF-FSU-GAU action E-List by visiting http://fsugau.org. Continuation of funding is contingent upon academic progress in the program and fulfilling the obligations of the assistantship. Assistantship appointments may be for any period of time up to one year. Please note that only this written offer is binding. Research grants, advisors promises, and departmental agreements are not binding.

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New applicants for graduate study in mathematics who want financial assistance should go to the Mathematics Department's Graduate Program website for more information: http://www.math.fsu.edu/graduate-general-info/. Only students with regular graduate student status are eligible for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. Special and provisional students are ineligible. No graduate student with less than a 3.0 cumulative grade point average is to be continued more than one term as a graduate assistant. If a graduate student has previously been continued while on probation, any subsequent probation will result in immediate termination of appointment. Continuation while on probation if not in compliance with the conditions of the original offer letter will be at the department's then-lowest pay rate.

Graduate Teaching Assistants usually teach half-time. A half-time teaching load in a fall or spring semester consists of an assignment that requires on average no more than 20 working hours per week. Specific duties will vary, but will typically consist of teaching lab classes, teaching recitations, teaching classes as the instructor of record, grading, proctoring exams, office hours, assisting faculty teaching large classes and/or course development.

Academic Loads and Tuition Waivers

All TAs/RAs/Fellows of mathematics must register for the number of hours required by the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies during each semester of appointment. Students must follow directions from advisors or directors when registering for classes and when filling out GRIDs. Incorrect registration or incorrect GRIDs can result in loss of assistantship and/or waivers.

It is important that, if you are a United States citizen, you determine whether you can now or later become classified as a Florida resident. See the Office Manager and also the Graduate Edition of the FSU General Bulletin for information about changing your permanent residence. The Graduate Admissions Coordinator can give you information about the procedure to be followed, including the prompt filing of the Declaration of Domicile. Note that your tax status as a dependent may change when you change your permanent residence.

Students who withdraw from the University or who withdraw from some of their classes may not use waivers to cover the costs of the dropped courses. This implies that students who drop some or all their classes before their completion must repay the appropriate waiver fees.

For tuition waivers to be awarded, the Payroll Period and contracts must begin by the first day of class and go through the last. TAs must be present on the first day of their contract through the end of the semester.

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MAT 5941 (TA Class) Requirement

The Department of Mathematics requires all new Graduate Teaching Assistants to participate in MAT 5941 (Internship in College Teaching). Graduate students who have not already participated in the first level of MAT 5941 must do so before their first term as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

New Graduate Teaching Assistants arriving in the fall or spring, who have not already participated in MAT 5941, must participate in training the week prior to the beginning of classes. This training is the first level of MAT 5941 and TAs must also participate in the remaining levels of MAT 5941. TAs will be assigned MAT 5941 sessions in which they must participate to complete the TA Class requirements. Typically, TAs entering graduate school in the fall will complete MAT 5941 in the spring or summer semester following their first semester.

Graduate Teaching Assistants may either register for MAT 5941 for one or more hours credit or they may participate in the class informally. In either case, new Graduate Teaching Assistants must participate in all of the assigned activities of the class. The TA Class materials are kept on the Canvas site "Mathematics TA Resources" under the modules "Lab Orientation" and "Solo Class." Completion of the TA Class is required before TAs may teach classes as the instructor of record. In addition to the TA Class, TAs will participate in continuing TA professional develop concurrent to and related to their teaching assignments.

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Duty Assignments

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Graduate Teaching Assistants are assigned duties based on their qualifications and the Department's needs. The duties of a Graduate Teaching Assistant may include holding lab classes, teaching recitations, assisting with large lecture classes, grading papers, proctoring, teaching classes with as the instructor of record (solo) and fulfilling other assignments. Language proficiency, teaching skills, and mathematical expertise are factors used in making teaching assignments. Note that if you are a TA, you are required to be available for the work the department needs you to do. That includes solo teaching if it is decided you should carry that load. Specific duties for particular types of assignments are covered in the TA Class. The TA Class materials are kept on the Canvas site "Mathematics TA Resources" under the links "Lab Orientation" and "Solo Class."
Requests for teaching assignments below the level of qualification may not be satisfied. In the event that such a request is satisfied, it should be expected that financial aide may be decreased to the then-lowest department level. After a Graduate Teaching Assistant has been supported in early years and trained to have value in teaching solo, advanced solo, calculus and calculus recitations, it is a loss to the department that they be assigned lesser responsibility.

Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant: This is a working title for semesters that a Graduate Teaching Assistant teaching recitations or teaching as the instructor of record. The title Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant should be used on the syllabus given to the students and in other references to work done during that semester.

Distinguished Graduate Teaching Assistant: After successful work as a Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant for several terms, a TA is considered for the designation "Distinguished Graduate Teaching Assistant." This designation may be listed as an award on a resume.

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Attendance for Duties and Travel

Graduate Teaching Assistant contracts normally begin one week before classes begin and continue through the Tuesday after Final week. Graduate Teaching Assistants are expected to arrive to their assigned duites before the start of each class and stay through to the end of the period.

All Graduate Teaching Assistants are required to attend the organizational meetings before each Fall and Spring term and other meetings related to their particular courses. When classes begin on a Monday, the meetings are the preceding Friday morning. If classes do not start on a Monday, Graduate Teaching Assistants should ascertain the date of the organizational meeting before making travel plans. Note that even if a Graduate Teaching Assistant is given a teaching assignment that does not meet the first day of classes they must be available on first day of classes as last-minute changes in assignments are entirely possible.

A Graduate Teaching Assistant who does not report for meetings/work on the first assigned day/time for the term may be terminated. Since a TA cannot be given Tuition Waivers if the payroll period begins later than the first day of class, the student may also have to pay their full tuition. The best a student who returns late can hope, and this is NOT guaranteed, is that they will only have to pay 1 hour of the tuition.

All Graduate Teaching Assistants are expected to assist in proctoring the departmental final examinations (even if they are teaching other courses). In addition, Graduate Teaching Assistants may be given other proctoring assignments during the term. For example, Graduate Teaching Assistants may be assigned to assist in proctoring placement tests. Proctoring assignments will be made during the semester. TAs must follow travel guidelines provided below.

The number of exams each Teaching Assistant will help proctor will depend on the assignment. In particular,
  • Proctors: Teaching Assistants with a .5FTE assignment in which the Teaching Assistant does not create a final exam, does not grade final exams, does not finalize a gradebook nor assigns course grades will proctor at most 4 CAI final exams.
  • Recitation Instructors: Teaching Assistants with a .5FTE assignment in which the Teaching Assistant does not create the final exam, does not finalize a gradebook nor assigns course grades, but does require grading final exams, will proctor at most 3 CAI final exams.
  • Guided Solo: Teaching Assistants with a .5FTE assignment in which the Teaching Assistant does not create a final exam nor grades final exams, but will finalize a gradebook and assign course grades will proctor at most 3 CAI final exams.
  • Solo: Teaching Assistants with full classroom responsibility in which the Teaching Assistant will create a final exam, will grade final exams, will finalize a gradebook and will assign course grades will proctor at most 2 CAI final exams.

    When a teaching assignment does not fit one of the above categories, the Coordinator of Graduate Teaching Assistants and the Coordinator of Basic Mathematics will consider the duties required of the Teaching Assistant during finals week to determine an appropriate number of exams the Teaching Assistant may be assigned to proctor.

    Students should check on VISA requirements and other forms required to reenter the USA and make appropriate plans before traveling out of the USA. The Center for Global Engagement can help students with these requirements.

    Because of the uncertainty in air travel, Graduate Teaching Assistants should make flight plans that allow reasonable flight delays. In particular, for (entirely) domestic travel Graduate Teaching Assistants should book flights returning no later than 2:00 p.m. the day before the organizational meetings. For international travel, Graduate Teaching Assistants should book flights returning no later than 12:01 a.m. the day before the organizational meetings. During the summer, when the are no pre-semester organizational meetings, Graduate Teaching Assistants should book domestic flights returning no later than 12:01 a.m. the day before the first day of classes and international fights no later than 2:00 p.m. two days before the first day of classes. Students unable to return to duties on time because of unavoidable emergencies (such as illness) should obtain verifiable documentation.

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    Neglecting the assigned responsibilities of an assistantship

    Neglecting or failure to complete the assigned responsibilities of an assistantship will not be tolerated. In particular, arriving late to, leaving early or missing a class or meeting without prior approval is not acceptable. In cases of an emergency it is the Graduate Teaching Assistant's responsibility to contact the faculty involved in the course(s) the TA is assigned, the Coordinator for GTAs and the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies as soon as it is possible. While TAs attend to their assigned duties, they must restrict all their activities to their TA responsibilities. TAs must manage their time appropriately and may not study for their own classes during the hours they are assigned to be in a class.
    Should a Graduate Teaching Assistant neglect their teaching responsibilities, an incident report will be placed in the TA's permanent department file. Two or more incident reports may result in the reduction of appointment to the department's lowest appointment level, non-renewal of contract or immediate termination.
    Unprofessional behavior will not be tolerated and may result in immediate termination.
    TAs cannot be on the payroll when they are not available to work and a TA cannot get tuition waivers unless on payroll the first class day. Thus a TA not present for the first day of classes will not get a tuition waiver.

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    Substitute Teachers

    Instructors are responsible for teaching their own classes, and the general rule is that no class should ever go unmet. If an instructor is unable to meet a class for any reason, then the instructor should immediately inform the lecturer, the course coordinator, and the Coordinator for GTAs. This should be done in as far in advance as possible. The Department does not ordinarily supply substitute teachers; however, if an instructor is sick, then the Department will try to find a substitute. If an instructor wants to go out-of-town for a professional meeting then the instructor should get permission for the trip from the Coordinator for TAs and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, and the instructor should find a substitute teacher approve by the Coordinator for TAs.

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    English Language Requirement

    All graduate students who are not native speakers of English, and who are going to be TAs must be certified in spoken English before they may teach classes in which they have primary responsibility. TAs that are not certified in spoken English will be paid at the lowest pay level.
    A TA scoring 26 on the IB TOEFL or 50 on the SPEAK or TSE test will be certified, relative to the spoken English component of teaching competency, for assignment at any TA level described in University-wide Standards for Graduate Teaching Assistants at Florida State University.
    New TAs who are not native English speakers, and are not exempt through the TOEFL exam, will be registered to take the SPEAK test before their first semester as a TA. TAs scoring less than a 50 on the SPEAK test will be registered in an appropriate spoken English class. Each term following, TAs not certified in spoken English must continue to work on spoken English and register for a spoken English class.
    A TA who scores 45 on SPEAK or 23-24 on the Speaking section of TOEFL iBT may also be certified in spoken English by enrolling in Advanced Spoken English for ITAs (EAP5835) and score 90 out of 100 or better in the course.
    Lack of satisfactory progress toward this goal may lead to stipend reduction, reduced opportunity for summer employment, and eventually to termination.
    The Center for Intensive English Studies offers SPEAK, a test replicating the TSE, but administered and scored at Florida State University. The SPEAK is administered in the week(s) prior to the beginning of each fall semester and near the end of all semesters. The scores are available within a week of the date the test is administered. This test is used to receive an initial estimate of speaking ability, and the Department will accept a score of 50 on this test as an indication that a Graduate Teaching Assistant is proficient in spoken English. A fee is charged for the SPEAK upon the second and later attempts. Students are responsible for all fees.

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    Personnel Matters

    The Office Manager administrates personnel and payroll matters. Each new employee must fill out appointment papers in order to be placed on the payroll and obtain office keys. Before processing appointment papers, the Office Manager must see an employee's Social Security card (and passport, if applicable). Any employee who has lost his/her Social Security card must secure a duplicate.
    Employees must have their paychecks deposited directly in a bank. Please note that new employees will not ordinarily receive their first paycheck until five or six weeks after submitting their appointment papers.
    Employees should inform the Office Manager of changes in their status. Reportable changes include changes in name and dependents.

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    Each instructor will be assigned space to use for office hours to work with students from their classes. This space may be located in LOV, MCH, or Annex. Offices are assigned by the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies. Office space is shared and graduate students should maintain a professional office environment. Only the GTAs assigned an office should use the office. Smoking is not permitted in any offices utilized by the Department of Mathematics.


    Because the Department is financially unable to provide a telephone for each instructor, instructors are not to give office telephone numbers to any students. The office staff in 208 LOV will take telephone messages for Graduate Teaching Assistants and adjunct instructors and place telephone messages in instructor's mailboxes. However, instructors should not encourage students to reach them by telephone nor should they use the Department staff as a personal answering service. Encourage students to send an e-mail or to go to office hours to contact you. If there is an emergency, the office staff at 644-2202 will be glad to take the message.

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    Much of intradepartmental information is communicated by electronic mail (e-mail), while some important communications are through department (physical) mail. Each Graduate Teaching Assistant will be assigned a department e-mail address, an FSU e-mail address, as well as a mailbox in 208 LOV. Regarding e-mail and physical mail, each Graduate Teaching Assistant should
    • check all FSU e-mail at least once each week day;
    • read and respond immediately to communications requiring action within 24 hour on weekdays;
    • check physical mail in 208LOV at least twice a week;
    • never tell a student to leave something in the mailbox in 208 LOV (rather, when absolutely necessary tell students to leave material with a staff member in 208 LOV);
    • never leave material for a student in a mailbox.

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    There are some required meetings that all instructors must attend, and instructors should not ask to be excused from these meetings. The required meetings include the following.
    • The Fall and Spring Organization Meetings. (These meetings are held on the Friday afternoon prior to the first day of fall and spring classes.)
    • Course meetings.
    See Attendance for Duties for more information about attendance requirements.

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    Professional Responsibilities

    Graduate Teaching Assistants should treat people with respect and carry out their duties with integrity. Each Graduate Teaching Assistant has an important obligation to his/her students, and it is important to be friendly and professional. Graduate Teaching Assistants represent the Department of Mathematics, the College, the University, and the academic profession.
    Members of the University community are responsible for their actions on and off campus. Always remember that a Graduate Teaching Assistant's obligation to behave in a manner that reflects favorably upon the Department and upon the University does not cease when the Graduate Teaching Assistant leaves the classroom. If a Graduate Teaching Assistant has a question of an ethical nature, then the Graduate Teaching Assistant should see the Coordinator for GTAs or a Department Associate Chair.

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    Professional Appearance

    An instructor's attire should be neat, clean, and appropriate. An instructor should not wear attire that may be offensive, for example t-shirts with sexual, political, or religious messages should be not be worn when working; nor should the instructor wear clothing that is unprofessional, for example skirts and shorts should come to below mid-thigh and the waist, cleavage, or underwear should not be exposed.

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    Professional Behavior

    No TA should teach a member of his/her own family. A TA should avoid having a friend take his/her course. If a friend or family member does enroll in a TA's course, the instructor must consult with the Coordinator for GTAs or Associate Chair. The student may be moved to another section. In courses with department exams, TAs should report to the Coordinator for GTAs or Associate Chair if a friend or family member is enrolled in any section of the course.
    It is unprofessional to date or have a personal relationship with a student enrolled in a class you are teaching or to intrude upon the personal dignity of any person. For example, it is completely unacceptable to make remarks about a student's appearance, sexual activity, or sexual orientation; or to verbally harass or abuse a student; or to attempt in any way to establish physical or emotional intimacy with a student. All TAs must complete and have it on their record that they have completed the University's Sexual Harassment Policy Training before working with students. Failure to do so could result in termination of appointment. Contact the Coordinator for GTAs regarding this training.
    It is important to recognize that all instructional personnel do wield power by virtue of their authority in the classroom. For this reason, among others, relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances are inappropriate when they occur between an instructor and a student for whom the instructor is professionally responsible.
    Finally, instructors should be aware that any amorous involvement with their students could result in formal action against them. Even when both parties have consented to such a relationship, the power differential between instructor and student renders claims of consent dubious in the eyes of investigating authorities; for this reason, if charges of sexual harassment are lodged, experience has shown that it will be exceedingly difficult to prove immunity on the grounds of mutual consent. Report at once to the Coordinator for GTAs, Associate Chair of Graduate Studies, Associate Chair, or Chair if you become involved in a situation that may be perceived as either harassment or involvement in an improper relationship. Failure to do so immediately is likely to result in the termination of your appointment.

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    Security of Confidential Information

    Instructors must read and understand the academic regulations and procedures set forth at http://registrar.fsu.edu/records/ferpa/. Instructors handle information about their students that is confidential and must be kept secure.
    The Privacy Act is a Federal law that prohibits revealing information of an evaluative nature to a third party, without specific written permission from the first person. This act has some obvious corollaries. These corollaries includes the following regarding secure student information: instructor may not physically post grades on doors or walls; instructors may not return graded material in a manner that compromises grade information; instructors may not give out class averages; should not ever give out any grades over the telephone; student information sent via e-mail may only be sent to FSU e-mail addresses and only to the student or faculty in a position allowed access; an instructor should never discuss a student's performance with a third party, including parents, unless the student is present and agrees to that discussion; papers such as rosters containing student information must be kept secure and be shredded when they are no longer needed. If unsure of any of these or related policies contact the Coordinator for GTAs for clarification
    The Privacy Act also precludes giving information about students to the media. Allowing media in classrooms could have serious legal ramifications, and an instructor wishing to allow the media to photograph a student or students in his/her classroom must get prior approval from department administration and prior written approval from all the photographed students.
    TAs will have access to information about secure departmental exams. Instructors must be careful to maintain the security and integrity of exams. In particular, each instructor should secure tests and quizzes, and no person, other than members of the instructional staff, should be given knowledge of the contents of tests or quizzes.

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    It is considered unprofessional for a Graduate Teaching Assistant to tutor a course for which the TA has inside knowledge. An instructor who chooses to tutor should be certain there is no compromise of information not generally available to students. The following policy is to assure that all instructional personnel for the department are both professional and ethical in their behavior related to this issue, and to prevent conflicts of interest or the appearance of such. In particular:
    • TAs may not tutor (for money or other compensation) a 1xxx-level course or Business Calculus.
    • A TA may tutor individual students in Calculus with Analytic Geometry, Linear Algebra, ODE, Engineering Mathematics, Discrete Mathematics or higher courses so long as that TA is not teaching the course (international students should check with the Center for Global Engagement).
    • TAs asked to tutor for the Athletic department may not tutor courses prohibited above.

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    Outside Employment

    Graduate Teaching Assistants should devote their full time to the study required to progress toward a degree in mathematics. Therefore, Graduate Teaching Assistants are strongly encouraged not to be employed beyond a full-time assistantship load (0.5 FTE). A graduate assistant employed at .5 FTEs, who wants to hold any other job, must obtain permission from the Department of Mathematics. International students must additionally check with the Center for Global Engagement before accepting any employment. If you have any questions, or want to disclose a personal conflict of interest, please contact Associate Chair for Graduate Studies. Accepting Financial Aid with fee waivers is a commitment to academic study, not a part-time job. You may not keep a TA appointment concurrent with working a part-time job or internship that is paid and that has not been approved by the Department of Mathematics.
    Note that if an Internship or outside employment is approved, the times you work on it must be arranged AFTER the Coordinator for TAs has assigned your teaching duties.
    During semesters a graduate student is not supported by the Mathematics Department, the student may undertake paid outside work. In particular, summer support is not guaranteed and it may be advantageous to apply for paid summer internships. TAs should discuss summer options with their advisor and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies before making arrangements.

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    Colloquium and Seminars

    A colloquium talk is intended for a general mathematical audience, and all graduate students in mathematics are expected to attend the Department's colloquia. Advanced graduate students in mathematics should attend seminars in their areas of specialization. A mathematics student who has passed the Doctoral Preliminary Examination is required to register for an advanced seminar.

    Summer Session

    Summer employment is not guaranteed; however we will do our best to give everyone in good academic standing summer work for the portion of the summer that TAs are studying in Tallahassee. Since funds are not guaranteed for summer, TAs must make financial plans for the summer. Even if employed as a TA, biweekly pay may be less than biweekly pay in the Fall and Spring. TAs should discuss summer options with their advisor and the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies before making arrangements.

    End of Semester

    Graduate Teaching Assistants must consult their immediate supervisors regarding the earliest possible date the TA may leave Tallahassee. For proctors this includes the lecturers for the classes the TA is assigned and course coordinators. For solo instructors the course coordinators and Coordinator for GTAs should be consulted; solo instructors may not leave until final gradebooks have been checked. Travel plans at the end of the semester should not be made until the Final Examination schedule has been finalized AND end of the semester plans have been finalized. TAs not returning to Tallahassee the next semester must leave all course materials with the course coordinators. In particular, gradebooks and final examinations must be left with course coordinators.

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    Office Hours

    An instructor will be assigned a particular number of office hours each semester. Generally a solo class will require at least 3 office hours and a proctoring assignment 2 office hours. These hours should ordinarily be held at times that make it more likely a student will be able to attend at least one office hour. In particular, at least one of these hours should be between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; should not be at the same time as student's lecture classes; and for solo classes on at least two different days and at least two different hours. Office hours must be announced to student the first week of class. Solo instructors should post office hours on the class website and on office doors. Instructors should always honor their office hours. If an instructor is unable to hold his/her office hours, then the instructor should reschedule the office hours and try to notify his/her students of the change in schedule. If teaching a lab or recitation, the lecturer should be notified as well. In addition, the instructor should leave a note on his/her door stating that he/she will not be able to keep the office hours.
    Phone and office information must be provided to the Administrative Support Assistant each semester. Phone information will not be given out to students.

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    Class Preparation

    Each instructor should be well prepared for class, and an instructor should always begin and end class at the scheduled time. Instructors should follow the Student Syllabus and Instructor Notes carefully. The University considers the Student Syllabus a binding document between the instructor and the instructor's students. Each instructor should read e-mails and work homework or practice problems before classes. If an instructor is unable to work a problem in class, then the instructor should be sure to work that problem at the beginning of the next class.

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    Student Eligibility/Administrative Drop Procedures

    Checking first day attendance (no-shows) and eligibility is an important task that requires significant effort by instructors the first week of classes.
    Each term, the Department of Mathematics administratively drops all ineligible students and all students who do not attend the first class meeting. Instructors of solo classes must download their rosters before the start of their first class period, check attendance against that roster, and drop students who did not attend the first day and were on the roster from their class using the first day attendance tool on their roster. Instructors of solo classes will follow instructions of course coordinators on the process for checking eligiblity. TAs working with large lecture classes will follow direction of lecturers to assist with checking no-shows and eligibility.

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    Drop/Add Procedures

    Students ordinarily drop and add courses through the internet, but students requiring special consideration should be directed to 225/222 LOV. The following list gives some typical problems seen during the Drop/Add period.
    • Students who were dropped for not showing up for the first class meeting feel they have priority to be re-added. They do not. They must go through the regular Drop/Add procedures.
    • Non-registered students attend classes because seats are available. They later ask the instructor for permission to add the classes. Instructors should tell these students that they must go through the standard online Drop/Add procedure. Instructors may not add students to their classes and should not indicate in any way that they would like to add students to the class.
    • Instructors should not let students not on the roster continue to attend classes after Drop/Add.
    • Students enter classes after the first day and do not fill out eligibility forms. It is the instructor's responsibility to get eligibility forms from every student. Additionally, eligibility of students adding the course late must be done quickly and may be checked using the roster and student number.
    • FAMU co-op students often assume they are registered through FAMU. They are not. They must see the Program Assistant on the fourth day of class to obtain a Drop/Add form. The names of these students may not appear on the class rosters until mid-term. The Program Assistant will notify instructors when these students complete their registration.

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    Rosters and Attendance

    After Drop/Add students may only attend the classes for which they are registered. All student attending class must be on the roster for that class. If a student is attending a class that is not on the roster they should be sent immediately to the Program Assistant and may not be allowed to continue attending without explicit permission from the Program Assistant or Associate Chair.
    Graduate Teaching Assistants teaching classes in which they have primary responsibility (solo) will be listed with the registrar as the instructor of record. TAs will be able to download rosters and send class e-mail through Secure Applications on Student Central. It is the TA's responsibility to keep track or current registration for their assigned course through this application. TAs should inform the Coordinator for GTAs if there is an error on the instructor of record listing after the first day of classes.

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    Supplies and Copier

    Instructors should use the Department copier only to duplicate classroom material, unless given special approval by the Copy Machine Manager. Instructors may obtain basic classroom supplies from the department staff in 208 LOV. Personal materials such as items to be used in a thesis or dissertation should be taken to a commercial copy center for copying at the graduate student's own expense.

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    Tests and Quizzes

    Tests and quizzes should be neat and easy to read. Tests must be typed. Tests and quizzes must contain the point values of the problems and should be graded and returned promptly. In particular, no graded assessment should be left un-graded for over one week. Test and quiz headings should be similar to the heading shown in the following example.
    MAC 2311-01 Print Name ______________________________
    TEST 1 FSUID _________________________

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    Grading Procedures for Free Response

    When grading free-response Graduate Teaching Assistants must consider that a student should be able to learn from their graded work and that a faculty member may have to read the graded assignment. In both cases it is critical that the grading be clear and easy to follow. It should also be consistent with general standards in the department. Some of the standards below are given in the case of a problem being worth 10 points. When a problem is worth only a couple of points the TA should use the standards below as a guide but it is recommended that grades be whole numbers.
  • Any grading guideline given to a grader by the instructor supersedes the guide below.
  • A perfect test paper should be graded 100%.
  • Points should be clearly indicated in the margin of the paper. It should be clear if the points are added or subtracted from the total and how many points each problem is out of.
  • Errors should be clearly marked in a color that stands out. Red is the standard choice. The grading should make it clear where an error occurred and/or indicate why points were deducted.
  • No credit should be given for an attempted solution that employs a method that could not possibly give a correct solution.
  • One point (out of ten) should be deducted for an arithmetic error that does not trivialize the problem. If the problem is completely trivialized, no credit should be given.
  • At least three points (out of ten points) should be deducted for an error in a standard formula or identity.
  • No credit should be given for a correct numerical solution without supporting calculations, except when it is clear that no written calculations are necessary.
  • No more than half credit should be given for a problem, when there is a serious flaw in the solution.
  • Grading must be consistent. Even when following these guidelines there will be many situations where the TA will have to make decisions on how many points to penalize a particular error. It is more important for the TA to consistently grade all students with the same error than it is to worry about the particular point value, as long as the assigned value is reasonable.

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    Although there are bound to be performance differences between classes, extreme differences do not occur frequently. It is not fair for some instructors to grade easily while others grade harshly; hence, it is reasonable for all instructors to consider Departmental grading averages when assigning grades to their students. Your course coordinator can supply you with further information on grading.
    Do not give out class averages. Do not post grades except through Canvas. When posting grades using Canvas the class averages must be disabled.

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    Each instructor must maintain a Canvas gradebook, as well as an offline or back-up gradebook. The gradebook should be detailed, accurate, complete, and up-to-date at all times. The gradebook is the property of the Department of Mathematics and it must be left with the Department when the instructor leaves FSU. Instructors must follow guidelines provided by Course Coordinator, if any, for formatting of the gradebook. A standard formatting for an offline gradebook is as follows: DJ is the j-th date, Qj is the j-th quiz grade, Uj is the j-th unit test grade, Q is the quiz average, U is the unit test average, E is the final exam grade, Avj is the j-th final average, and "Grade" is the course (number) grade and "Ltr Grd" is the course (letter) grade.
    Date D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7
    Q2 Q3 Q4 Q4 U1 U2 E Av1 Av2 Grade Ltr Grd
    Student #1 8 7 5 3 80 70 60 67.25 65.75 67.25 D
    Student #2 3 5 7 8 60 70 80 70.25 71.75 71.75 C-

    A gradebook should include the name of every student listed on the post drop/add roster as well as the names of any late adds. It is often necessary to determine when a student quit coming to class. Therefore, it is important to indicate all assignment/assessment dates in the gradebook. Instructors should assign a grade of F to anyone who quit coming to class and whose name appears on the grade roster. Write NA in the gradebook for a student who never attended class.
    Students who withdraw after the drop/add period should NOT be removed from the gradebook. Grades should NOT be deleted even if the grade is not used in calculating the grade. Enter a W in the letter grade column for stduents whose names do not appear on the final grade roster and W or WD for those student where one of these grades is indicated in the grade roster.
    Each instructor should leave a copy of his/her gradebook with the course coordinator and with the Department at the end of the semester. Each instructor should leave the gradebook with the Department when they leaves FSU.

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    Student Absence

    Each course coordinator shall determine the student-absence policy for his/her course. TAs are responsible for knowing and following the attendance policies for the courses they are assigned. Regardless of course attendance policy, TAs are responsible for checking student attendance against rosters. After Drop/Add students may only attend the classes for which they are registered. A student may not attend a section different from the one for which the student is registered. Student sometimes ask instructors to allow them to attend a section different than the one in which they are registered, but this is not permitted.
    A questionable student absence from a unit test must be reported to the course coordinator. The course coordinator will decide whether an absence is excused. If an absence is not excused, then the course coordinator will instruct the Graduate Teaching Assistant on the proper procedures to be followed. A medical excuse from the Student Health Center or other medical professional does not excuse a student from a class unless the excuse states explicitly that the student should be excused or instructs bed rest on the date of the class to be excused.

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    Religious Holidays

    Religious holidays are to be honored, and students are not to be penalized for observing these holidays. Instructors should not ask students to provide proof of religious affiliation. If an instructor has questions about religious holidays, then he/she should consult with the Course Coordinator or the Coordinator for GTAs.

    Athletic Student and CARE Reports

    Instructors should track the attendance of athletic students and may receive questionnaires concerning the attendance and grades of athletes from the athletic department. The instructor should first verify the person the request originates from is indeed an advisor or in an administrative position and then should respond to these questionnaires with as much detail as possible, including comments as appropriate. Instructors are usually directed mid-semester to fill in reports on the SAMS website. Athletic students must have signed waivers that allow the athletic department to track their academic progress.
    Each instructor may also receive a questionnaire at the end of the semester asking not only whether the athletes put in an appearance at the final examination, but also whether the student made a serious effort to complete the final examination. Each instructor should complete this questionnaire and give the completed questionnaire to the Program Assistant with the final grade roster.
    Students registered with CARE, Center For Academic Retention & Enhancement, have signed waivers allowing the advisors in CARE to track their academic progress. You may receive requests from CARE requesting a progress report on your students registered with CARE. As with the Athletic Students, you should verify that the person making the request is a staff member of CARE.

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    Students with Disabilities

    Students with disabilities are to be treated with consideration and given reasonable accommodation. The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) will provide instructors with a form certifying that a disabled student has a disability and an outline of accommodations. Because of legal implications, an instructor must not handle a disability case without assistance. TAs must work with course coordinators, the Handicapped Testing Coordinators, the student's case worker in OAS, or the Coordinator for GTAs in determining appropriate accommodation. The Department does not allow a student's own reader to administer a test. Information regarding student disabilities is confidential and may only be discussed with the course coordinators, the Handicapped Testing Coordinators, the student's case worker in OAS, or the Coordinator for GTAs.

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    Advising Students

    Each University student is assigned an advisor in the student's major. An instructor should direct students to see their advisors, the Advising Center or their Academic Deans when the students have questions concerning classes or academic programs. The Mathematics Department's Academic Support Programs Coordinator is available in 205 LOV to discuss questions about mathematics courses. Students having questions not of an academic nature should be directed to the appropriate department or service. The following website provides helpful links that students may be directed to: https://dsst.fsu.edu/resources/finding-help-getting-connected. A TA should never offer advice about anything not directly related to course content.

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    Student Problems/Requests

    Student requests or problems should be discussed with the course coordinator or Coordinator for GTAs. TA should not send students to department administrators without first discussing the problem with the department administrator. It is important for a coordinator to have an instructor's opinion and background information about a student's case before the coordinator talks to the student.

    Academic Dishonesty

    An instructor will occasionally discover a case of academic dishonesty (cheating). Recent cases of cheating include copying information from other students, altering returned tests, switching names on tests, and having another person take a test. Instructors should proctor tests carefully to prevent cheating. An instructor should check a student's ID card and/or the photo roster for the class. The instructor should be sure that the photo on the ID matches the student's face, and the name on the ID matches the student's name on the test.
    Instructors must report cheating incidents immediately to lecturers, course coordinators, or the Coordinator for GTAs, and they must keep good records of cheating incidents. These records should include tests, if tests are involved, dates, and names of witnesses. There are important procedures that must be followed carefully when reporting incidents of cheating, and instructors must rely on lecturers, course coordinators, or the Coordinator for GTAs for assistance.

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    It is important that we follow copyright laws and understand the fair use laws specific to teaching. Resources regarding Copyright laws can be found at http://guides.lib.fsu.edu/copyright. Fair use allows a teacher to make a copy of a small portion of a copyrighted work for use with his or her class. For example, you may copy a set of problems out of a chapter of a text and you may make one copy for each student in your class. However, you may not make more copies than you have students and you may not copy every problem set from the entire text.

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    Placement Tests

    ALEKS: All entering freshmen who plan to enroll in MAC1140, MAC1114, MAC2233, MAC2311 or MAC2312 at FSU their first semester must take the ALEKS test before their Orientation. The ALEKS test measures a person's ability in basic algebra, trigonometry and calculus, and the test is used to place students in the proper courses. For further information regarding ALEKS Placement go to https://www.math.fsu.edu/Undergraduate/ALEKS/.
    Students are placed into one of several groups based on the outcome of the AMP test. The students group classifications and their educational objectives then determine their correct placement into mathematics courses. For dates of the AMP test and current information contact the AMP Coordinator.


    The State of Florida requires instructors to have their students evaluate their teaching during each term in most courses. FSU has developed a form containing the State Required components. A few weeks after classes begin, the Office of Evaluation Services sends out request for faculty to sign up for the evaluations online. The Associate Chair will generally make the request for the forms that are required. Instructors of any courses not requiring student evaluations must request their own should they wish to have the forms administered. If online evaluations are ordered, the instructor does not need to do anything to administer the evaluations. Students will automatically be sent the information to complete evaluations online. However, it is recommended that instructors encourage students to fill out the forms and even allow them to do so in class. Higher percentages of students filling out the evaluations result in better overall results.

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    Final Examinations

    The University final examination policy and the Final Examination Schedule are given through the Registrar's office. University policy states that final examinations must be given at the time listed in the Directory of Classes. Instructors should direct their questions about final examinations to either their course coordinators or the Coordinator for GTAs. The University Final Exam policies must be followed. Most of these policies are found in the Exam Schedule on the Registrar's calendar site: https://registrar.fsu.edu/calendar/
    University policy mandates that student's final examination papers must be kept on file in the Department for at least one calendar year. The course coordinators will store student's final examination papers when instructors will not remain on campus. Instructors should label exams with the date, course, section number, and the instructor's name before giving them to their course coordinators. Instructors should be certain to give copies of their gradebooks to their course coordinators and to the Department. Instructors leaving FSU permanently should leave their gradebooks with the Department and their final examination papers with their course coordinators.
    Each semester, the Department of Mathematics administers Departmental final exams for MAC 1105, MAC 1140, MAC 1114, MAC 2233, MGF 1106, and MGF 1107. All Graduate Teaching Assistants must help proctor these examinations even though they may not be teaching these courses. Proctoring assignments will be made during the semester. Travel plans at the end of the semester should not be made until the Final Examination schedule has been finalized AND end of the semester plans have been finalized with instructors Graduate Teaching Assistants are assigned to work with.

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    Course Grades

    Course grades are submitted at the end of the semester on a final grade roster provided by the Registrar's office. These grade rosters are filled out online through the Secure Applications on Student Central. Instructors will be given instructions with the final grade rosters and must carefully follow procedures given by the Course Coordinator. The completed final grade rosters should be carefully checked and submitted before the due date given each semester. An instructor should see his/her course coordinator, the Coordinator for GTAs, or the Program Assistant if there is a question about which grade to assign.
    Students taking a class on an S/U basis will be so noted on the final grade roster.
    If a student is listed on an instructor's final grade roster and that student has stopped attending or never attended, then the instructor should assign that student a grade of F.

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    Student Withdrawals

    A student may withdraw from a course without getting instructor permission. The exact cut-off date for dropping a course without penalty is shown in each semester's Academic Calendar. If a student withdraws from a class prior to the cut-off date, the student's name will not appear on the final grade roster.
    A student who withdraws after the cut-off date must obtain his/her academic dean's permission. The dean may either assign a WD (withdrawal with dean's permission), in which case the instructor does not determine a grade, or the dean may allow a student to withdraw from a course subject to a grade of either W or F. If the student had a D or better as of the effective date of withdrawal the instructor should assign a W, otherwise an F.
    Students with an academic honor code case may not withdraw from the course in which the case is for either while the case is being resolved nor if the students is held responsible for the academic dishonesty.
    Students wishing to drop a course may need the instructor fill out a form regarding academic honesty and/or grades. Proctors or recitation instructors should send the student to the lecturer. Instructors with primary classroom responsibility should read the form and fill in information requested regarding attendance, current grade, and any pending academic honesty cases. Instructors should not express an opinion as to whether the students should be allowed to drop. If there is a space for a comment or opinion, the instructor may write "No Comment" or "No Opinion."

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    The Grade of I (Incomplete)

    An instructor should not assign a grade of I (Incomplete) without first consulting with the course coordinator, the Coordinator for GTAs, and/or the Associate Chair. Some guidelines for giving the grade of I are given below.
  • The grade of I is ordinarily only given to a student who 1) is passing the course at the end of the semester, and 2) has an excused absence from the final examination. A grade of I cannot be assigned to a student who is not passing the course at the end of the semester, and a grade of I cannot be given to a student to allow the student to avoid receiving a grade of F. A grade of I cannot be given to a student to allow the student additional time to study for the final examination.
  • An instructor should not send a student to see the Coordinator for GTAs or a course coordinator to discuss getting an I. An instructor should collect the facts about the case and explain them to the course coordinator or the Coordinator for GTAs. An instructor may not assign a grade of I without approval from the Associate Chair (via the course coordinator).
  • If an instructor assigns a grade of I, then the instructor must fill out the appropriate form and state on the form precisely how the I is to be removed. (The course coordinator, the Academic Support Programs Coordinator, or the Coordinator for GTAs can help with the details.)
  • If a grade of I is changed, it must be changed by the instructor who assigned the I. The grade change form is online through the grade roster.
  • A student cannot remove an I by sitting in on all or a portion of the same course a later semester.
  • The grade of I is not assigned to a student who withdraws from the University.
  • Students may not register for courses in which an I is pending. If they do, the original I will be changed to an F.
  • When an instructor assign an incomplete grade, the online grading system prompts the instructor to fill in additional information. This is the grade the student would get if all the incomplete scores were zero and a time period for the incomplete to expire. In most cases this grade would be an F (or maybe a D) and it should expire the very next semester. Unless an instructor notifies the Office of the University Registrar of an extension, an I will be changed to this grade when the I expires.
  • If a student registers for a course in which the student has an I in a prerequisite course, then the student must either finish the requirements for removing the I before drop/add is over or drop the course.

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    Student Audits

    All students who audit a course must complete all audit applications and pay associated fees. Students may see the Program Assistant for assistance with audits. The Program Assistant or the Associate Chair will inform instructors when students audit their classes.

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    Graded Audits

    Students are sometimes not eligible to take certain required courses for credit. In these cases, they should take the courses as graded audits. In order for a student to take a Graded Audit, the student must complete the steps above (under Student Audits); in addition, the student must complete all tests and graded work required for the course. The instructor will determine a grade for a student taking a Graded Audit just as the instructor determines the grades for other students. The course grades should be reported to the Program Assistant.

    Student Grade Appeals

    If a student feels that his/her final grade was determined in violation of the stated standards, then the student can appeal the grade. The FSU General Bulletin outlines the procedures for grade appeals. Before initiating a grade appeal, a student should consult with their instructor, the course coordinator, and the Coordinator for GTAs.

    A TA that will not be a TA the next semester must inform the department as soon as their knows. The course coordinator should be given all final examination papers, grade book files/papers, and any other materials related to the courses taught. Contact information should be provided to the department.

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