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A timely completion of the degree is in the best interest of a student. In addition to the degree milestones, yearly progress reports, and departmental support structure, the following mechanisms are available to help with a timely degree completion:

Stipend raises: RA and TA graduate student stipends are tied to progress toward graduation. Upon completion of the Doctoral Written Exam 1, the stipend will increase by 4.6%. After completing the thesis proposal presentation, you will receive a further 4.4% raise.

Time to degree and faculty oversight: Students are expected to complete their degree within 12 semesters (6 years). Student status and progress will be discussed at a special faculty meeting once a year in the spring semester. The DGS will prepare a list of students not meeting milestones. Students who are not completing their defense by the end of their 8th year must apply to the Graduate School for an extension.

TA support for fall and spring semesters:

  • Funding decisions are made by the Department Chair on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the Directors of Undergraduate Laboratories and Graduate Studies.
  • You can receive at most 10 semesters of full TA funding, not counting summer funding.
  • If you have received full TA funding for 10 semesters, you can receive the minimum amount of TA funding ($7,850 per semester as of 2021) to qualify for tuition and health care coverage for up to 4 additional semesters.
  • If you have received full TA funding for 14 semesters, you are not eligible for any further TA funding.
  • Students who have not completed their degree requirements within eight years are not eligible for TA and tuition support, or benefits.

TA support for summer sessions I and II:

  • Funding decisions are made by the Department Chair on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the Directors of Undergraduate Laboratories and Graduate Studies.
  • You can receive at most 4 full summers (this means summer session I and II) of summer TA funding.
  • Rising 2nd years: Every effort will be made to provide full summer TA funding.
  • Rising 3rd-6th years: Every effort will be made to provide at least one summer session of funding. Students not applying for external summer funding (departmental, College resources, NC space grant etc) will have lower summer TA funding priority.
  • Rising 7th year students are not eligible for summer TA funding.

 

Evaluation criteria:

TA performance will be based on a rubric system following the CARE metric (competence, attitude, reliability, engagement). Whenever student feedback is used to evaluate TA performance, special care will be taken to account for possible biases.  TA performance should never be based solely on student feedback, so faculty evaluation based on personal observations should be included.  TAs whose support is in question will be evaluated by at least two faculty members.

 

2

Excellent

1

Good

0

Average

-1

Below Avg.

-2

Unsatisfactory

Competence Demonstrates mastery of subject and recognized as leader by peers and students Solid understanding of subject and makes few mistakes Knows subject well enough to teach or grade effectively Weak understanding of subject and makes occasional mistakes Poor understanding of subject and makes frequent mistakes
Attitude Positive and encouraging, good feedback from students Positive and encouraging attitude Acceptable attitude, positive and negative comments from students Poor attitude, some complaints from students Negative attitude, frequent complaints from students
Reliability Consistently on time to class and meetings, follows instructions, and offers helpful suggestions Consistently on time to class and meetings, follows instructions, offers advice On time to class and meetings, responds to emails and follows instructions Occasionally late to class or meetings, fails to respond to emails or follow up as expected Misses class or meetings without excuse, does not grade in timely fashion, does not follow instructions
Engagement Excellent interaction with students, provides helpful feedback when grading Interacts well with students, provides good feedback when grading Acceptable interaction with students and adequate feedback when grading Poor interaction with students and inadequate feedback when grading Unacceptable interaction with students and inappropriate feedback when grading

 

RA performance will be based on the ranking of the yearly progress reports (or, in years of exams, on the exam performance). The yearly progress reports, the DWE II, and the thesis proposal presentation (TPP) will receive a grade on the graduate grade scale (H,P,L,F). For explanations of the scale, see Graduate School Handbook. The table below gives some examples. “Deliverables” mentioned below could be publications, conference presentations, substantial contributions to collaboration, instrumentation, etc.  Other measures are just examples.

 

Grade Graduate Handbook Examples
H Clear Excellence More and/or more substantial deliverables than average, or ground-breaking contributions.

Independent work. Student develops questions. Strong career promise. Student owns project.

P Entirely Satisfactory Average deliverables (in amount and quality). Solid work, effective problem solver. Perfectly acceptable quality of work, but not ground-breaking.
L Inadequate A few deliverables. Results require checking. Student does not fully own project. Student shows only little initiative.
F Fail No, or only a few deliverables of inadequate quality.