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Students should check their email each day. Email is the official means for posting all announcements in the graduate program. Students should also periodically check the English Department home page for announcements of news and upcoming events or deadlines.
For each semester that you hold a teaching or research assistantship, you must be registered for courses and/or research hours. All students should use the on-line registration and course preference system, which will allow you to give us your preferences for what you would like to teach in the next semester, and for the courses in which you would like to be registered. Our first priority in registration is to accommodate as many first-choice requests for courses as possible. Your preferences for teaching are less flexible, as they are dependent upon department needs. After the registration information has been retrieved from the internal system, the graduate coordinator will attempt to register all students after the University Registrar opens the pre-registration screens. Before any student can be registered, however, they must go on-line and clear any holds that appear in ONE.UF. Certain holds appear every semester. After the Graduate Coordinator has completed an initial registration for all students, s/he will put a message on the grads list reminding all students to check their registration on ONE.UF. If there are any problems or changes to be made, students should email the Graduate Coordinator and Kathy Williams and inform them of the changes. You must then check regularly on ONE.UF until you are sure the changes have been made. The department will register all students who make their requests through the preferences system, but it is the students’ responsibility to verify that they have been registered for the correct courses and correct number of hours. The university has recently increased penalties for changes after drop/add concludes, and so it is important that all changes are made prior to that date. All payroll papers and fee waivers depend on a correct and timely registration. For more information on registration, see the Registration Information section of this Handbook.
Initial entry into the University payroll system requires many forms, with additional forms for all international students. The basic forms are a completed W-4, a copy of the social security card, a loyalty oath, etc. International students must also present I-20, passport, visa, etc. You will be informed of all the proper paperwork required.
A letter of contract was part of the Department’s initial offer. For renewal each year, a letter of contract is given at the end of the spring semester, after annual review of student progress. Each semester, Melissa Davis must determine whether a student will be assigned to teach in the English Department or in the University Writing Program, and make adjustments in the letter accordingly. Other items to be considered as part of the new letter are rate of pay, title of position, length of appointment and whether or not a student is still in-funding. A letter of appointment will be processed on the first date of employment for each term (the date is determined each year by the Human Resource Department and the Provost’s Office) in order for a tuition waiver to be generated. The letter of appointment must be signed each semester.
The Department always makes an effort to post tuition waivers before financial services deducts money from financial aid; however, the waiver does not run through the university financial system until as late as the end of the second week of classes. This may affect some students who take out loans. Students should always be prepared for such delays.
Requests for Teaching Preferences, Syllabi Review & Course Assignments
Each semester students are asked for their preferences as to what courses they would like to teach in the coming semester. In addition, students may request to teach special topics courses (ENC 1145, AML 2410) by submitting a proposal to the General Education Committee. Students must remember that Departmental and University needs supersede any request; those needs include ENC 1101, ENC 1102 and ENC 3254, and as such, most of the teaching will be in those courses.
Students need to fill out the on-line teaching preference forms by the date specified. The Graduate Coordinator will send out an announcement near the middle of each semester letting you know when the system will be open.
Each student will be assigned a course or courses to teach for the next semester after their own registration has been completed. Students will then be notified of their teaching assignments, and syllabi will be due for review shortly thereafter. Occasionally assignments will have to be changed because of registration changes, but the Department attempts to keep such changes to a minimum and appreciates the generosity and flexibility of the graduate students.
Summer Payroll & Course Assignments
Summer pay, as is advertised in the basic information for the English Department, is at a lower rate than during the regular academic year. At present, the rate is at $3100 per course. The Department hopes to better that rate each year.
Summer appointments are dependent on satisfactory progress, with GPA, advancement in the program, academic requirements, award amounts for the academic year, and departmental needs all determining the order of appointment. The university budget limits the number of sections that the department and UWP are able to offer in any given summer, and so this means that not every student who requests summer teaching and is eligible for it will necessarily receive it.
The on-line spring course and teaching preferences forms are used to determine whether a student wishes to request the renewal of their assistantship and enrollment for the coming fall semester. At the end of the spring semester, Department faculty provide information to the Graduate Coordinator in order to determine the renewal of the teaching assistantships and the satisfactory progress of all students. PhD students in their 3rd year and beyond must also fill out an annual report form, to be signed by their dissertation director.
Teaching Awards & Evaluations
All teaching assistants are evaluated each year. In the first year of the MA, that evaluation is done by the Director of Writing Programs, Raúl Sánchez or by Creed Greer in the University Writing Program (UWP). After the first year, students are eligible to participate in either of two different processes of evaluation: the awards process, in which evaluation is undertaken by faculty members of the General Education Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee, and the non-awards process, in which evaluation is undertaken by a faculty member or award-winning graduate student chosen by the TA. A student must participate in the awards process at regular intervals to be announced by the Director of Composition.
If funds are made available in the annual budget, the Department will provide partial support for one request per graduate student per year for travel to a conference to deliver a paper. To apply for Departmental travel money, complete and submit a Departmental travel request form available in the office. There are no deadlines for making this request, but please be aware that the travel fund can run out before the end of the academic year. Additionally, the Department supports travel to the MLA or other similar conferences for the purposes of interviewing for jobs. Currently this support is a one-time-only grant in the amount of $400. Students must show proof an interview before the funds will be released to them.
The College and Graduate Student Council also make funds available for graduate student travel. Please watch for announcements of these competitive grants.