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Undergraduate course assistants (UGCA’s) give undergraduates an opportunity to provide instructional support for undergraduate courses. As near-peers, UGCA’s are a valuable part of many CNS course teaching teams, as they can provide supportive, relatable academic assistance for students. Serving as a UGCA can be a great way to build your resume and gain valuable leadership experience, all while helping other students succeed and thrive in their CNS coursework.

The Chemistry department looks for UGCA’s who have taken multiple chemistry courses and received high grades. In addition, they look for students who are passionate about helping others learn and who demonstrate great communication skills. If you are interested in a reading to get you started thinking about the course assistant role, check out the following guide: "The Effective Teaching Assistant".

UGCA positions are only available in the Fall and Spring semesters. It is important to note that the Chemistry department also utilizes graduate students as TA’s and hires Specialist TA’s. The availability of UGCA slots is dependent upon how many graduate TA’s and specialists are hired, as they are given priority.

If you decide that you are ready to take the next steps to becoming a UGCA for the Chemistry Department, you can reach out to Carisma Nunez at carisma.nunez@austin.utexas.edu. Carisma will put you on the department UGCA interest list. UGCA’s interested in being a CA for the fall semester should notify Carisma before July 1st. UGCA’s interested in being a TA for the spring semester should notify her before November 1st.


UGCA Frequently Asked Questions

What would I do as a UGCA?

When hired, your faculty instructor would provide you details on the specific duties for your UGCA assignment. The following is a list of the types of responsibilities that Chemistry UGCA’s might be charged with:

  • Facilitate class activities (walk around, answer questions, check-in with groups, distribute supplies, etc.)
  • Grade assignments
  • Hold office hours
  • Run discussion section (under the direct supervision of the instructor of record)
  • Run laboratory section (under the direct supervision of the instructor of record)
  • Run supplementary review sessions
  • Prepare review guides or supplementary problem sets
  • Prepare and set-up laboratory supplies
  • Prepare instructional materials and make copies
  • Proctor (under the direct supervision of the instructor of record)

How am I compensated for serving as a UGCA?

Chemistry UGCA’s are hourly positions. You will fill out weekly timesheets and you will be paid according to the University’s Semi-Monthly payroll calendar found here. The rate for UGTA’s is $12.00 an hour.

What do I do if I have a problem with my faculty supervisor while serving as a UGCA?

If you are unable to resolve your problem with your supervisor directly, then you should reach out to the Danielle Nestler at dnestler@cm.utexas.edu or Carisma Nunez at carisma.nunez@austin.utexas.edu. As an employee of UT Austin, you have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

 What university resources are available to help support students in my course?

The following are some great resources for you to know about so that you might appropriately direct the students in your course to these support offerings. 

  • Sanger Learning Center: If a student needs tutoring or ideas for improving their study strategies, tell them to visit the Sanger Learning Center in Jester (JES A332). They are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Learning Center has peer academic coaches, one-on-one and group tutoring, and a variety of workshops.  They also provide writing services to graduate students!  Visit their website:  http://ugs.utexas.edu/slc.
  • University Writing Center: If a student would like help revising a paper or report, let them know about the University Writing Center. A consultant at the UWC will not edit or proofread a student’s paper. Instead, they ‘teach students how to revise, edit, and proofread their own work more accurately and efficiently.’  Students can schedule a one-on-one consultation at http://uwc.utexas.edu/.