1. Teaching Assistants – General Description
  2. Accepting Your TA Assignment
  3. New TAs
  4. TAs Unable to Commence Duties:
    1. Returning TAs
    2. New TAs
  5. Payroll Information
  6. TA Orientation
  7. Required Compliance Training
  8. Pedagogical Training
  9. Outside Priority TAs
  10. TA Leave From Duties
  11. Location of Work
  12. Extending Priority Terms for Priority Teaching Assistant

Teaching Assistants – General Description

A teaching assistant (TA) assists course instructors with various duties which may include conducting labs or study groups, assisting with lecture preparation, and marking assignments and tests. Your TA assignment may take place outside the department in which you are enrolled and appointments shall be based on operational needs and individual qualifications. Priority TAs receive a TA award as part of their funding package at the time of application. If you do not receive a TA award with your admission package, you may still apply as an Outside Priority TA through Carleton Central. To inquire about TA opportunities while in your program, please contact your department directly.

All Priority Teaching Assistants can update their TA Profile immediately after accepting their TA award through the TA Management System in Carleton Central. You do not have to be registered nor have paid your tuition fees in order to fill in your profile. As these profiles are used to determine appropriate and relevant assignments, it is not only important to fill in your profile but also important to keep your information updated. As long as you are an active TA, you can easily update your profile through Carleton Central. Please note that you must be a registered full-time student to be a TA.

Your TA Supervisor will complete and transmit an Assignment of Duties (AOD) in Carleton Central. The AOD outlines your job duties and the hours allocated to each responsibility. Weekly duties include, but are not limited to, office hours, preparation time, discussion groups, lecture attendance, lab demonstration, supervision and cleanup, as well as other duties like grading and proctoring. Once you received the AOD, you are required to sign accepting the duties outlined in the AOD for each assignment.

TAs who have completed 15 or more hours are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 4600 (Unit 1).

Accepting Your TA Assignment

Please note that TA assignments must be accepted or declined within six (6) working days of the date of the offer. If you do not accept an assignment offer by the deadline without reasonable cause you will have declined the TA assignment for that term.

New TAs

New TAs are required to submit the appropriate forms to HR to set up an account so that the University can issue payment. This information must be received prior to the appropriate payroll deadline to avoid delays in payment. (see “payroll information” below).

We ask that all graduate students who have a TA award register as a student in their academic program and accept their TA funding package as soon as possible and prior to the commencement of the term. This will allow your Faculty to begin the TA assignments, and allow for a better match between your skills, abilities, previous TA experience and your course assignment. If you do not register, the Faculty will not be able to begin the TA assignment process.

TAs Unable to Commence Duties:

Returning TAs

If you plan not to take up your TA Fall assignment, please inform your department Graduate Supervisor immediately, and also complete a Leave from Duties form via Carleton Central (if applicable).

New TAs

TAs who have not held a regular position and are entering their first term as a TA are not eligible to take a leave from duties. Instead, TAs should contact their department and request that their TA funding be revised to start a later term.

Payroll Information

For TAs who have never been paid by Carleton, you will need to set up an account with Payroll Services. Visit the New Employees page and follow the instructions in the “For New Casual Employees” tab for online submission of documentation.  Any questions can be emailed to payroll@carleton.ca or by calling the office at 613-520-3628.

Carleton’s payroll schedule is twice a month. For the first month of the term in which you begin your studies, you will be paid on the second pay date of this month. If you would like to assign your TA pay to your Student Account, you can do this through Carleton Central when you register for your courses. More information regarding paying your tuition fees by payroll deduction can be found on the Student Accounts Receivable website.

For a listing of upcoming pay day dates and payroll deadlines, please visit the Human Resources website.

TA Orientation

New TAs are strongly encouraged to attend the New TA Orientation as part of the FGPA orientation for all new graduate students. New international TAs should also attend the International TA Orientation. TAs who attend the TA Orientation can claim one hour towards their pedagogical training hours (see below for more information on pedagogical training).

Required Compliance Training

New TAs are required to complete five hours of mandatory compliance training which includes but is not limited to training on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Additional information can be found here.

Pedagogical Training

All TAs have access to five hours of pedagogical training. You are strongly encouraged to complete this training as to gain important skills for your role as a TA at Carleton. Additional information is below.

Please note, training must be completed during the term(s) in which the student is working as a TA and must be completed before the deadline, November 30, for a fall-only TAship, and March 30 for a full academic year TAship or a winter-only TAship.

There are a number of options for TAs looking to earn their voluntary paid pedagogical training hours:

  • Professional Development and wellness workshops and they all count towards pedagogical training hours.
  • Carleton Central lists workshops, teaching talks, and department specific training under the ‘TA Training’ tab.
  • On the Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) website, the Teaching Assistants page lists details on workshops, alternate and self-directed training options, including peer feedback, peer mentoring, TA articles, and online workshops.
  • Students should also talk to their departmental administrators and Graduate Chairs to ask whether their department has a TA mentor, and whether they offer department specific training.

You are strongly encouraged to track your hours and training completed independently of the TA Management System in order to ensure its accuracy.

Still unsure about how to earn your pedagogical training hours? Check out the following FAQ on the TLS website or contact banaaltahir@cunet.carleton.ca.

Outside Priority TAs

To apply to be an OPTA, go to Carleton Central. On the Main Menu, look under TA Management, then choose TA Outside Priority Applications and follow the instructions.

Deadlines to submit your Outside Priority TA application are as follows: December 15 (Winter term), April 15 (Spring/Summer term) and August 15 (Fall term).

If you require assistance, please email banaaltahir@cunet.carleton.ca.

TA Leave From Duties

Under some circumstances, you may apply for a leave from your TA duties. Leaves can be requested for the following reasons:

  1. Academic research, exchange, and co-op positions.
  2. Certified medical leave.
  3. Any other reasons where the Academic Supervisor and/or the Department Head provides reasons in writing as to how the leave would benefit the student academically.
  4. Pregnancy and/or Parental leave.
  5. The employee has received employment as Contract Instructor at Carleton.
  6. Family Caregiver Leave.
  7. Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave.
  8. Gender Affirmation Leave.

In order to take a Leave from Duties and maintain your priority status, your leave needs to be approved in advance by the Office of the Deputy Provost. To request a leave from TA duties, complete and submit the TA Leave From Duties Form in Carleton Central.

Location of Work

TAs must be located in Canada for the duration of their TA assignment. TAs who receive an assignment and cannot accept the assignment due to work location may apply for a leave from duties or request to revise the start of the TA funding to a subsequent term, as applicable.

Extending Priority Terms for Priority Teaching Assistant

If you are a graduate student registered in a full-time program and are a priority teaching assistant who has exhausted your priority terms, you may apply once to extend your priority for one (1) term for a master’s student and up to two (2) terms for a Ph.D. student. In order to apply for an extension, please submit a completed application form to your program department by the deadlines that are noted below:

  • Fall / Winter Term: apply no later than August 1.
  • Winter Term: apply no later than December 1.
  • Summer Term: apply no later than April 1.

The TA Priority Extension Application can be found here.