American University of Sharjah Graduate Teaching Assistant Reviews | Glassdoor.ie

American University of Sharjah Graduate Teaching Assistant Reviews

Updated 30 Oct 2019

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3.1
100%
Recommend to a Friend
  1. "Good Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant in Sharjah
    Recommends

    I worked at American University of Sharjah part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A good experience that really helped me learn from my professors and experience the art of giving to students in their education journey.

    Cons

    Nothing negative regarding this position

    American University of Sharjah2019-10-31
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Salary is just enough to get by. Seemingly unpredictable work load"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant 

    I have been working at American University of Sharjah full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Salary is paid consistently on time. Research workload given by faculty can vary wildly from very minor to unrealistically difficult, depending on which faculty member you're assigned to. You can't choose which faculty members to work with. However, if you really can't work with someone, and if your program director is kind enough, you can be reassigned to a different faculty member. The contract lasts only for one semester and is renewed based on GPA, not the reviews of the faculty for whom you did the teaching/research work. If you live in the university housing, you get a salary increase.

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    Cons

    This position is considered as a temporary employment position, with no entitlement to any bonuses, vacations, retirement plans or benefits other than the salary, the student visa, and the tuition waiver of 6-9 credits per semester. It is reserved to graduate students and selection is competitive. You cannot hold this position for more than 2 years i.e. 4 semesters. This puts a time constraint on finishing your masters within 2 years if you want to be fully funded throughout. You are legally not allowed to work anywhere else, even if you're a part-time assistant. At the time of writing this, the tuition waiver for graduate teaching assistants does not cover summer courses. So if you decide to take courses in summer, you have to pay for them out of your own money. There are rumors that this is about to change, but there hasn't been a corresponding formal announcement yet. You'd also pay for taking additional credits above those covered by the tuition waiver in your contract in that semester. Since the workload amount and difficulty really depends on which professor you're assigned to, each semester can seem very different in terms of effort even if the contract asks you to work the same number of hours as the previous semester. In interdisciplinary masters program i.e. to which you can apply with any bachelor's in engineering, such as Engineering Systems Management and Biomedical Engineering, there is often little or no attempts to match your research work to your technical background. I was often assigned to do research in areas in which the graduate of another engineering major could have found to be much easier. I was also assigned to grade courses which I haven't taken myself. There is often bad course planning for next semester. This is usually due to the university enforcing a minimum limit on the number of students that must be registered in a course to keep that course open. Since the number of graduate students is usually a handful and are at different stages in their studies and have different interests, it's not unusual for the department to offer a course and later on withdraw it, leaving students who must take a certain number of courses next semester in limbo. As a consequence, the department is flooded with student petitions to register for other courses which are either already full or for which they have not satisfied the prerequisites. The department then tries to deal with each student on a case-by-case basis, and The whole process repeats itself again every semester.

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    Advice to Management

    -Planning course offerings: Send out surveys to students to get a feel of what courses students really need and how many would register in the proposed courses. -In interdisciplinary masters programs: please try to match the bachelor's background of GTAs to the research work you'll require them to do next semester. If you don't want to make that effort, at least be transparent about which professors are working on which topics, and give us the right to choose what to work on. - Streamline and optimize the way you handle petitions and queries. Set up a bulletin board or FAQ page for your programme - Consider handling petitions electronically

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    American University of Sharjah2019-03-29
Found 2 reviews