How to become a Graduate Assistant at Eastern University

Introduction

I am a current student in Eastern University’s Master of Science in Data Science program, starting in January 2021. This is a 10 month program if you take it full time (2 courses at a time), or 20 months if you take it part time (one course at a time.)

I am also a Graduate Assistant in the first course, DTSC-520. I have been a graduate assistant for the last two terms. This post will go over how to become a GA in that program – which may be significantly different from the procedure to become a GA in onsite programs.

(Edit: I’ve now been a GA for 4 terms – 3 for DTSC-520 and 1 for DTSC-670.)

What is a Graduate Assistant (GA)?

Graduate Assistants or GAs are available for each course in the program. Their role is to provide support to students in that course. We respond to discussion board posts, try to remain on the student-run discord and otherwise help students be successful.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to be a GA, you must have completed the course with a high grade. I believe each of the current Graduate Assistants completed their courses with a 4.0 (as did I).

In addition to a high grade, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have the ability to teach/coach students through difficult problems in a respectful and helpful way.

Application to become a GA

At the end of each term there is an application you will complete that asks a variety of questions about your understanding of the material for the course you want to become a Graduate Assistant.

These applications are reviewed by the faculty and staff who will make their selections.

Benefits of being a GA

GAs receive a rebate for a course for each one that they GA – reducing their student loan debt/burden. In addition, you develop your communication skills and get a line item for your resume.

Conclusion

Are you a current student or a GA? What could GAs do better? What do you like best about being a GA?

4 thoughts on “How to become a Graduate Assistant at Eastern University

  1. Hello Dustin, thanks for blogging about EU’s MSDS program. I am slated to start on 5/16. Above, you said, …

    “In addition to a high grade, you’ll need to demonstrate that you have the ability to teach/coach students through difficult problems in a respectful and helpful way.”

    How did you demonstrate your ability to teach/coach? Did you have a mock session where you coached someone and was subsequently assessed?

    1. Hi R A,

      The main way that instructors/professors evaluate this is through your contributions on the Discussion Boards. The GAs will often recommend other students who appear to have strong mastery of the material and are able to assist others. There is no mock sessions or anything like that required.

      Dustin

  2. Hi Dustin – your website is so helpful!!! Do you mind sharing what the “rebate” is for graduate assistants?

    1. Hi Nicole,

      So sorry for the delay in getting back to you. The rebate is attending one course free (so, currently worth $990.)

      Dustin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.