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Undergraduate Associates

About the Position

Undergraduate Associates assist a faculty member with their academic and professional responsibilities, including:

  • Teaching
  • Assisting with labs
  • Responding to student work
  • Engaging in research

To apply:

Need assistance? Contact the Rinella Learning Center at 513-529-8741.

Undergraduate Associate Program Information

Program Eligibility Criteria, Application, and Deadlines

Undergraduate Associate Application (opens in new window). Be sure to read through the guidelines and review the deadlines listed below and in the next sections.

  • Student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.5 and must be a sophomore, junior or senior.
  • The student must complete a UA Agreement (online) form with their faculty mentor by the appropriate deadline.
  • The student must complete a final evaluation (online) form by the appropriate deadline.
  • The faculty mentor must also provide a final evaluation (online) form to confirm that the student completed the program.
    • No student may serve as an Undergraduate Associate in a course in which they are currently enrolled.
    • A student serving as an Undergraduate Associate in a course is responsible for acquiring adequate knowledge of all relevant course materials.
    • A minimum of 37.5 hours of work completed over the course of the summer, a 14-week semester or a full academic year is expected of any Undergraduate Associate.
    • Students have the option to receive one credit hour for Undergraduate Associate participation through independent study hours in the appropriate department. The final grade will be determined by the instructor on the basis of the student’s fulfillment of the UA agreement completed prior to the beginning of the experience.

Please direct questions to The Rinella Learning Center will verify the student’s eligibility once each UA Application and UA Agreement are received. A staff member will contact the student and the faculty mentor to indicate whether the UA Application and UA Agreement have been approved.

Deadlines for UA Application, Agreement and Evaluations

Fall 2024

  • Application: Sept. 9, 2024
  • Program Agreement: Sept. 9, 2024
  • Final Evaluation – Student: Dec. 6, 2024
  • Final Evaluation – Faculty: Dec. 6, 2024

Spring 2025

  • Application: Feb. 10, 2025
  • Program Agreement: Feb. 10, 2025
  • Final Evaluation – Student: May 9, 2025
  • Final Evaluation – Faculty: May 9, 2025

Guidelines for Appropriate Undergraduate Associate Duties and Roles

Guidelines include:
  • Undergraduate Associates will not be responsible for grading any assignment or exam.
  • Undergraduates participating in the Undergraduate Associate Program may teach a very limited number of class sessions. When an Undergraduate Associate teaches all or part of a class session, the Associate’s faculty mentor must be present. Students will not have sole responsibility for instructing a class session or segment of a class session without the faculty mentor supervising in the classroom.
  • Students will not be expected to carry out tasks or errands outside of those directly related to the planning and instruction of the course for which they are completing the UA experience or tasks related to research.
  • The faculty mentor and his or her Undergraduate Associate should meet weekly or more often if desired and useful.
  • Students may not receive pay for the Undergraduate Associate experience.     

Undergraduate Associate - Evaluation Criteria for the Application

All Undergraduate Associate applications will be reviewed based on the criteria articulated on the rubric that follows. Please review these criteria closely prior to submitting an Undergraduate Associate application. Applications that are evaluated as "Underdeveloped/Incomplete" in one or more areas will be returned for revision.
  • Criterion - Goals or Learning Objectives for UA Experience
    • Underdeveloped/Incomplete
      • Goals or learning objectives are unclear and lack substantive reflection
    • Acceptable
      • Goals or learning objectives are overly broad, not specific, or disconnected.
      • There is some question whether the experience is thoughtfully linked to the student's learning or personal goals.
    • Good
      • Goals or learning objectives for the experience are detailed and specific.
      • The student has spent time thinking about how this experience relates to his or her future endeavors and the current thinking of the field of study.
    • Exceptional
      • Goals or learning objectives are nuanced, well-described and significant.
      • Personal examples and specific details are offered.
      • The student is clear, thoughtful, and reflective about how this experience relates to learning and to personal goals. 
  • Criterion - Expectations for Student's Responsibilities and Plan for Project
    • Underdeveloped/Incomplete
      • Description of expectations are unclear and don't convey the student's role in relation to the faculty mentor or experience.
      • It is unclear what the student will be doing.
    • Acceptable
      • A general plan of how to work with the instructor is offered, but little specificity is present.
    • Good
      • The student has clear responsibilities and balances teaching, advising and administrative work.
      • There is promise of a mutually beneficial relationship with the faculty mentor.
    • Exceptional
      • The student discusses what work will be completed and why it is meaningful.
      • The student gives specific ways in which he/she will work with the faculty mentor and how this partnership will be forged.
  • Criterion - Assessment, evaluation of experience
    • Underdeveloped/Incomplete
      • No discussion of how success of the experience will be measured or recognized or the description of these measures is unclear.
    • Acceptable
      • The value of the experience is discussed in general ways or it is limited only to the value for the UA.
      • A general plan for evaluating the experience (e.g. discussion of self-reflection) is present.
    • Good
      • The value of the experience and the project is discussed in clear terms and applies to the learning of the UA, the faculty and the other students involved.
      • There is a clear plan for assessing the value of the UA experience for all involved.
    • Exceptional
      • A nuanced thoughtful discussion of the value of the experience for all involved is offered; an innovative and thoughtful plan for assessing the value-added for all involved is in place.

Guidelines for Faculty Mentor Role

  • The Faculty Mentor should strive to provide true mentorship to the Undergraduate Associate as they complete the experience. This may include not only guidance for leading the specific class that the student is assisting with for the experience or engaging in some aspect of a research project, but also navigating questions and exploration related to careers in academia as a whole. Some suggested roles/activities may include:
    • Involving the UA in planning for the class as well as in-class activities and follow up (if applicable)
    • Providing the UA with consistent constructive feedback on their work as a UA
    • Guiding the UA in carrying out the duties agreed upon in the Undergraduate Associates Experience Agreement
    • Assisting the UA in an exploration of various teaching methods and styles appropriate for the content of the course and discussing how to adapt teaching methods to meet the needs of diverse learners
    • Discussing with the UA what professional life as a faculty member typically “looks like” (i.e. day to day schedule, responsibilities related to teaching, research, publishing, conference presentations, etc.)
    • Demonstrating and discussing appropriate ethical conduct for the field and faculty with the UA
    • Including the UA in some faculty responsibilities outside of the classroom (where appropriate), such as attending departmental meetings, sitting in on office hours, etc.
    • Sharing information on leading publications, professional organizations and/or research in the field for the UA to learn more about prevalent topics and trends
    • Discussing possible graduate school tracks in the field with the UA
  • Desired learning outcomes for students participating in the Undergraduate Associate program include:
    • The student should gain perspective on and experience in the roles and responsibilities involved in jobs in academia
    • The student should gain further insight into the field that the faculty member and/or class is in
    • The student should benefit from a mentorship relationship with the faculty member
    • The student should benefit from opportunities to develop better communication, presentation and leadership skills

How to Receive Transcript Notation for UA experience

  1. Student must complete the UA (Undergraduate Associate) Application online form.
  2. Student and Faculty mentor must complete the UA Agreement online form. The UA Agreement form requires signature of both the student and faculty mentor.
  3. Upon completion of the UA experience, the student will complete a Student Final Evaluation form that assesses their development and ability to meet their expressed goals while serving as an Undergraduate Associate. The student may wish to provide additional comments or reflections on this form as well. 
  4. The student and faculty mentor should meet during the last week of classes to discuss the Undergraduate Associate experience and the student’s performance over the course of the semester. 
  5. The faculty mentor must also verify the student’s satisfactory completion of the program through a Faculty Final Evaluation form submitted by Friday of Finals Week. The Faculty Final Evaluation online form requires signature of the faculty mentor.
  6. The student and faculty mentor Final Evaluation forms should be submitted online. Please visit the UA Forms page from the menu on the left of this page.
  7. To receive a transcript notation, the student’s Final Evaluation forms must be submitted to the Rinella Learning Center by Friday of the second to last week of classes (see dates listed above). For this to happen, the timeline for meeting and completion of evaluations must be appropriately adjusted to meet this deadline.

How to Earn University Credit for UA Experience

student wishing to receive one hour of academic credit for their UA work must arrange an independent study with his or her faculty mentor.
  • How to Enroll in an Independent Study – The student or faculty mentor should pick up an independent study form from the Registrar’s Office (118 CAB), fill it out, and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. The course number should be 177, 277, 377, or 477. Independent study courses may not be added after the deadline to withdraw from a course with a grade of W (i.e. after completion of 40 percent of the term).
  • How to Earn Credit in an Independent Study for the UA Program – The faculty mentor will determine and submit the final grade for the independent study (using the same process that all course grades are submitted) on the basis of the student’s fulfillment of the roles and responsibilities agreed upon in the UA agreement.

How to Receive an Honors Experience for UA Experience

Students who are members of the Honors College may receive an honors experience for their UA work through the honors proposal and reflection process. To receive an honors experience, a student must:
  • Complete all UA requirements as described on the application and evaluation criteria.
  • Prior to starting the UA experience, fill out the honors experience proposal form on the Honors Canvas page.
  • Participate in the UA experience and keep detailed notes to help you address the guiding questions for the honors final review and reflection.
  • Within one semester of completing the UA experience, write a thorough reflection paper addressing the guiding reflection questions on the honors experience review and reflection form on the Honors Canvas page.