So, I have been receiving a lot of emails with a lot of very important questions about the Graduate Assistantship programs. My GA position has been wonderful and extremely helpful financially, and I really do consider myself lucky.
First, I'll give you all the background info on the positions on campus. There are two types of assistantships: part time and full time, each with their own benefits.
Full-time: 20 hours/wk, up to 12 credits of tution paid (must take at least 9), 5000/yr stipend. The downside is you cannot work more than 10 hours off campus, then.
Part-time (what I have): 10 hours/wk, 6 credits of tuition paid (must take 6), 2500/yr stipend. You can work off campus.
How to find an assistantship? You really need to be proactive about it. I was really lucky. I knew the girl who had the position before me, and she got me the interview. I had done something similar in undergrad, which is what I think gave me the leg up in the competition. Here are somet things to do:
1) Go to the grad assistant page (http://www.wcupa.edu/_admissions/sch_dgr/assistantships.asp) and see what positions are currently listed.
2) Don't see anything you like? Contact your program coordinator (located here: http://www.wcupa.edu/_admissions/sch_dgr/grad_coordinators.asp) and ask if there is currently anything available in your program.
3) Still nothing? Contact any other place on campus you think you might want to work (library, res life, etc) and ask.
4) Fill out the grad assistant application at the bottom of the page (http://www.wcupa.edu/_admissions/sch_dgr/grad_coordinators.asp).
5) Send it in and note you are currently applying to the school.
6) BE PROACTIVE and constantly ask if there is anything available. I did not have a position my first two semesters.
How much work is the assistantship? Depending on what position you take, your duties and schedule will be different. I work for the Grad Studies office so I do a lot of office type stuff - filing, databasing, looking up lost files - and a lot of stuff that has to do with prospective students - blogging, emailing, calling. I am very lucky in that I can set my hours from week to week (dependent upon my other work schedule). But everyone is different. I put in 10 hours a week usually over three days. During the heavy application season, I usually am here a lot more.
I can't say enough how lucky I was to get the position I did. I work with some awesome people and it is always a great time here in the office. I love my position and would not trade it for anything. Is working, going to school, and having a GA position easy? Not all the time. It's a lot of work and I really need to manage my time, but it's worth it.
please feel free to comment with questions or to email questions. I am always checking my emails!!