Hiring Non-Academic Graduate Assistants

General Guidelines for Non-Academic Graduate Assistants

The purpose of the Graduate Assistant program is to provide graduate students with the opportunity to supplement course work with practical experience related to the student’s field of study and career/occupational objective(s). Assistantships are an extension to, and application of, classroom instruction through hands-on experience with guidance from experienced administrators and staff within the department. In addition, a qualified faculty member directly supports the student’s assistantship experience by working closely with the student and the department/supervisor through for example, site visitations, interaction with department personnel, discussions with Graduate Assistants concerning department feedback/evaluation, and incorporating the experience into an academic learning experience. 

During the assistantship period, the Graduate Assistant is expected to use the theoretical learnings from the classroom and put them into practice. From this the student gains hands-on experience and knowledge in their field of study. The gained experience may be helpful in finishing their degree and/or assist them with employment upon graduation. 

A non-academic graduate assistantship should be consistent with the student’s field of study at St. John's University. 

Attributes for Structuring an Assistantship

  • Provides the Graduate Assistant with a practical real-world experience in his/her field of study;
  • Enables the Graduate Assistant to develop important experiential skills, which cannot be taught in the classroom. These experiences can vary and be both project-oriented as well as learning how to navigate in a business/functional environment;
  • Improves critical thinking and problem-solving skills;
  • Enables the Graduate Assistant to compare and apply theoretical ideas learned in the classroom to activities in a business/functional setting, giving it relevance and meaning;
  • Provides the Graduate Assistant with experience in an actual office/department before entering the job market. Such experience will impact job prospects and will teach what is expected in terms of professional behavior.

Being Compliant

In compliance with applicable law, St. John’s University will not approve a non-academic Graduate Assistanship position unless all of the following are true:

  • The Graduate Assistant experience is primarily for the benefit of the student;
  • The Graduate Assistant does not displace a regular employee, but works under their close observation;
  • The sponsoring department that provides the assistantship derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the Graduate Assistant;
  • The Graduate Assistant is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period;
  • The department and the Graduate Assistant understands that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent in training – only the stipend and tuition remission they receive. The Graduate Assistant will be required to sign an acknowledgment to this effect.

Students engaged in activities of a religious or charitable nature in furtherance of the Mission may be subject to different guidelines than those set forth above.

If you feel that you would be able to fulfill the requirements please complete the form and return it (in electronic format as well as a paper copy) to:

Eyenit Santana
Executive Secretary
Office of the Provost 

[email protected]

Please complete the Request for a Non-Academic Graduate Assistant Form (Word)

This form is to be completed by a representative of the department who is requesting to hire a non-academic graduate assistant. (Revised March 13, 2020)

Electronic Personnel Change Form Information

The guide explaining the new Electronic Personnel Change Form to be used in hiring Graduate Assistants, can be found here.

Graduate Assistant or Doctoral Fellow FALL 2020 Agreements

  1. If the student is hired for the FALL semester the Electronic Personnel Change Form (EPCF) must be created, submitted and budget approved by August 5th  so the student can receive email instructions to view and accept the Agreement on UIS. You must use a query date of 09/01/2020. Your student must be registered fulltime and the EPCF is for tuition remission and a stipend. A paper contract is not required and will not be accepted only the EPCF is necessary.
  2. If a student has received confirmation that he/she will receive a Graduate assistantship or Fellowship that covers tuition in full or partially, the student is responsible for paying any university fees plus any remaining tuition balance due by the due date of Wednesday August 5th.
  3. Please emphasize to your contracted student they are responsible for the university fees and/or other fees, and that they should pay the balance of fees by the close of business on the due date of Wednesday, August 5th.
  4. Should your student have any questions regarding their tuition bill, fees or tuition remission can contact the Customer Service Center at 718-990-2000 and an advisor will review the student's account. 


For more information and to ask any questions, please contact:

Mary Cascio
Student Employment Manager
Office of Human Resources
Phone: 718-990-2331
Fax: 718-990-5887