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Some facts about student assists

What do SA’s do? Different tasks for different SAs

  1. Leading a section of a class or discussion group
  2. Tutoring individuals or groups – in information or in skills (e.g. dissecting, computing, etc.)
  3. Grading
  4. Helping plan or administer a course
  5. Helping curricular management
  6. Being “On call” for one of the activities above, i.e. actually being available for service in the Tutoring Center. If you are available but no one takes advantage of their services, you will still be eligible for payment, albeit at 20% of the hourly rate, i.e. being merely on call for five hours would constitute an hour of reimbursed work. If you get called, you may submit a regular time sheet for the time spent.

Moral / Professionalism issues

  1. Honesty
    • Students must submit complete and accurate time sheets & logs.
  2. Fairness
    • Equal pay for “equal work,” i.e. the burdens should be spread fairly among assistants in the same course and different courses.
    • Student grading other students must be scrupulous.
  3. Confidentiality
  4. Respect: Avoid exploitation of students

Courses often needing assistants


The Body Dr. Stern Tutoring, dissection, review & practice sessions, grading
Molecular Foundations of Medicine Drs. Schechter & Elmaghrabi Tutoring, grading, review sessions
IHB Drs. Feldman &Schabel


Tutoring, grading, teach a class on culture


Foundations of Medical Practice Dr.Granek Tutoring, grading, course preparation
Neuroscience Dr.Kritzer Tutoring, review sessions

We may also hire SA’s to “float,” i.e. serve as needed for students with difficulties across courses or meeting special and time limited needs of particular courses.

How do I get a job as a student assistant?

  • Ask the Office of Student Services (Mary Jean Allen) whether or not your are eligible for Work Study funding.
  • Ask or be asked by the course director to serve as a student assistant. Student Services can serve as an intermediary here as well.
  • A few students are asked by Latha Chandran, the Associate Dean for Academic Advising, to become “floating” Student Assistants for all courses. Though federal Work Study money is the preferred mode of payment, some students – ineligible for Work Study or because all of the Work Study lines are full – are paid directly by the Dean’s office.
  • Get elected to AOA. AOA students – juniors and seniors – as part of their responsibility in that organization, serve as tutors or mentors.

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Responsibilities to and of SoM student assistants

Being a student assistant is a privilege and is a noticeable feature in one’s academic record. Perhaps best, teachers learn more while teaching than one ever learns as a student, so assisting – whether tutoring, grading, giving review sections or preparing course materials – is an exceptional educational opportunity. A number of our courses use student assistants and the pairings are arranged through the Office of Student Affairs. Some assistants work as volunteers; most are supported under the Work Study Program; some are paid by the dean directly. Irrespective of the mode of payment, if any, there are some rules that guide the program and process.

Responsibilities of the Dean’s Office.

  • Assign student assistants to a given course in consultation with the course director or, if the assignment is not course related, with the appropriate supervisor. Offers funded through the school may be extended only by the dean’s office.
  • Provide annually a basic course in pedagogical skills.
  • Process time sheets and payment
  • Collect and record evaluations of student assistants

Responsibilities of course director and supervisors.

  • Be fair and open in your selection of candidates for student assistantships. Keep in mind that a higher performance in a course does not guarantee better teaching. Having explicit criteria avoid bad feelings.
  • Decisions about paying student assistants with Work Study or Dean’s funds are made in the Dean’s office. Do not offer a student a paid assistant position unless you plan to fund it yourself.
  • Be explicit about what is expected – time and tasks – of the student assistant.
  • Maintain work schedule specifying who is to do what and when.
  • Provide any training necessary for the student to successfully meet expectations, e.g. give training in how to tutor, give training in how to grade homeworks and exams, etc.
  • Continue ongoing supervision with regular review of the performance of assistants. Solicit feedback from students in your class about accessibility and helpfulness of assistants.
  • Sign both the time sheet and activity log promptly. Your signature on them has legal significance for you and for the school’s continued eligibility for the federal program through which many assistants are paid.

Responsibilities of the student assistant.

  • Seek appropriate training and guidance. This includes participating in the annual basic course in pedagogical skills.
  • Keep an accurate record of all activities and time spent on each on the official time sheet. This time sheet must be signed by the faculty supervisor before it is submitted to the Office of Medical Education. Remember your signature on time sheets has legal significance.
  • Make regular reports to your supervisor on students who you believe need special attention or who you feel you cannot help.
  • Be professional, i.e. reliable, punctual and honorable. Be sensitive to your position of relative power and authority.
    Solicit feedback from your “students.”

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Getting Paid

How do student assistants get paid? Current rate $10/hour
  1. Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships typical of Graduate Programs in colleges of arts and sciences – essentially salaried positions – are not available in the School of Medicine.
  1. Federal Work Study
hourly/time sheets with the amount paid considered part of financial aid,
i.e. the amount is deducted from one’s loan total.
  1. Hired w/ SoM money
hourly/time sheets amount not deducted from loan total

To get paid, student assistantsmust submit two completed “forms”.
Everyone must complete an Activity Log. The form can be downloaded from this web site.

Note it must be initialed by your supervisor. The completed log must be submitted to Susan Hines in the Office of Medical Education.
If you are being paid by work study, you must do the following:

  1. See Diane Piscitelli in Student Affairs complete the an I9 form. For that you will need a copy of your ss card and driver's licence or a copy of your passport and a W4 form.
  2. Submit a work study time sheet using the following procedure:
    Sign onto the Solar System (by clicking here or going through Stony Brook's main page);
    Clink on student employment;
    Enter your EmplID;
    Click on search;
    Click on time sheets;
    Enter appropriate dates and time.
    Please click on save after every third or fourth entry.
  3. Diane will e-mail you to advise you when a time period has ended. Once you completed your time sheet, you will need to e-mail her and tell her to approve your time sheet. If you forget to e-mail, she won't approve your time sheet and you won't receive a check from me for that pay period.
  4. You will pick up your pay checks from Diane every two weeks.

If you are being paid by the dean, you must download and complete a Research Foundation Hourly Attendance Report. After your supervisor has co-signed the completed form, return it to Susan Hines in the Office of Medical Education.

Please remember that students may not submit for more than 20 hours a week. If you happen to work for more than 20 hours in a 7 day period, you may carry them forward to the next pay period.


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Student Assistant Information Page