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Undergraduate Instructional Apprentices/Undergraduate Tutors

The Division of Biological Sciences affords undergraduates the opportunity to experience an introduction to science teaching at the collegiate level through supervised experiences as Undergraduate Instructional Apprentices (UGIAs) and Undergraduate Tutors.

Undergraduate Instructional Apprentices (UGIAs) – In addition to practical classroom experience under the direct supervision of a biology course instructor, UGIAs will enroll in BISP 195 where they will also benefit from the instruction of a teaching faculty member, learning the fundamentals of instruction in a collegiate level science course. UGIAs who successfully complete this experience earn four units of academic credit (BISP 195).

Undergraduate Tutors – Students with prior experience as an Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice (UGIA) in a Biological Sciences class (via passing grade in BISP 195) are eligible to apply for Undergraduate Tutor (Tutor serving as a Teaching Apprentice) positions.

Minimum eligibility requirements for all UGIAs/Tutors:

  • Prior completion of the same or equivalent course of the UGIA/Tutor assignment. Instructor may require completion of certain courses with stipulated grades (often a grade of A or B expected). See also, Alternative Qualifying Courses
  • A cumulative 3.000 UC GPA at the time of application.
  • A minimum of 90 units completed or transferred into UC San Diego at the time of application.
  • Registered UC San Diego undergraduate with fees paid in the quarter of assignment.

Restrictions for UGIAs/Tutors:

  • Students may NOT assist in more than one course per quarter at UC San Diego.
  • Students may assist once as a UGIA for academic credit in the Division of Biological Sciences. Upon successful completion of BISP 195, eligible students are considered for Undergraduate Tutor opportunities. 

Application Process

Application Periods and Deadlines
For participation in: Application Opens Applicants Notified of Decision
Fall July August, prior to the Fall term
Winter Weeks 2 - 4 of the preceding quarter By week 8 of the preceding Fall quarter
Spring Weeks 2 - 4 of the preceding quarter By week 8 of the preceding Winter quarter
Summer* Weeks 2 - 4 of the preceding quarter

*BISP 195 not offered during summer - Tutor eligible applicants only
By week 8 of the preceding Spring quarter
  • Please visit this link to watch a video with more information on the UGIA program and how to apply.

BISP 195

BISP 195 is a weekly seminar course in which students enroll when assigned as an Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice (UGIA) via the application process.  BISP 195 grades are based upon both weekly seminar and practicum (instructional apprentice duties) participation.  Therefore, it is not possible to enroll in BISP 195 without a concurrent Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice assignment.

  • Four-unit course
  • Pass/No Pass
  • May fulfill an upper-division biology elective requirement
  • Assigned UGIAs are responsible to enroll in and attend one section of BISP 195

UGIA/Tutor Performance Expectations

Actual duties for a particular course may vary and will be defined by the supervising instructor. Typical duties may include:

  • Attend lectures
  • Lead discussion or lab section, using written content generated by the instructor or graduate IA
  • Hold office hours
  • Provide feedback to instructors on exam drafts
  • Proctor and grade exams
  • Meet regularly with the instructor
  • Other applicable duties as assigned by the instructor
  • 10 hours per week (average)

Note that IAs are not expected to reply to electronic inquiries from students at all hours or to exceed maximum workload in replying to email. Please note allowable working time (found in the offer email), work with the supervising instructor to budget time for tasks accordingly, and feel free to refer students with extensive questions to office hours and/or section time.

Performance Evaluations and Standards - UGIAs and Tutors are evaluated by the instructor of the course and by the students enrolled in the course via online evaluation surveys conducted at the end of the quarter.

UGIA/Tutor Workload

UGIAs and Undergraduate Tutors typically commit an average of 10 hours per week to their assignment (110 total hours in the quarter). Most of the hours are accrued during the 10-week quarter and finals week. If required, instructors will inform UGIAs/Tutors of the need to assist in the pre-quarter week.

Training

All students enrolled in BISP 195 attend a weekly seminar.  BISP 195 grades are based upon both weekly seminar and practicum (instructional apprentice duties) participation.  Students assisting for the first time in a lower-division lab course must also attend a one-time Safety Training for Laboratory Instructional Assistants and complete other online safety training requirements.

Employment Information - Undergraduate Tutors only

  • A Division of Biological Sciences’ team member will contact you by email if you must attend an employee sign-up session.
  • Undergraduate Tutors employed in title code 2860 are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between UC San Diego and the ASE/UAW. 
  • Undergraduate Tutors are paid biweekly and must submit timesheets. A team member will provide information on pay dates and timesheet submission.
  • Names and addresses of all Academic Student Employees (ASE) are released to the UAW each quarter as a condition of employment in title code 2860.
  • See the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) website for additional information concerning Academic Student Employment (ASE).

FAQs for Assigned UGIAs

Enrollment and eligibility:

Students must be registered and enrolled as a student in the quarter of service to be eligible to hold this assignment. Part time enrollment does qualify for undergraduates.

Enrolling in BISP 195:

Pre-authorization to enroll in BISP 195 is provided prior to the start of the quarter, with instructions sent to @ucsd email. Please enroll through WebReg. BISP 195 is a required course, and UGIAs must plan to enroll in and attend one section during Weeks 1-5.

IA Resources:

The IA Resource page includes information about office hours, make-up sections, review sessions, technology, etc.

Dr. Stanley Lo is the Faculty Advisor for Instructional Assistants. The Faculty Advisor is a point of initial contact for inquiries related to professional development as an IA, science of teaching, classroom effectiveness, or other questions and concerns related to ethics, behavior, or academic integrity.

Expected duties are noted in the Performance Expectations drawer on this page.

Application status listed as "Pending" approval:

UGIA application status will likely appear as "pending" until Week 1 of the quarter of service. Please be aware that applications were pre-screened for eligibility, and in Biology, faculty have already reviewed the majority of student applications. Biological Sciences only forwards applications for which approval is anticipated. Assigned students who maintain academic eligibility (minimum 90 units complete and minimum 3.000 GPA) can plan and proceed as if the assignment is confirmed.

Contacting the supervising instructor:

IAs may or may not receive direction from the supervising instructor prior to the start of the quarter. If the instructor does not reach out prior to the quarter, IAs should feel free to contact the supervising instructor via email, or to simply attend the first class meeting. Specific discussion section assignments are coordinated directly with the supervising instructor.

FAQs for Assigned Tutors

Enrollment and eligibility:

Students must be registered and enrolled as a student in the quarter of service to be eligible to hold this assignment. Part time enrollment does qualify for undergraduates.

Hiring paperwork:

Hiring must be complete prior to the start of the quarter, including verification of original identification documents. IAs who need to complete hiring paperwork will be contacted via @ucsd email. Some students may already be active in the Payroll system. In such cases, no additional paperwork is required. Please watch your @ucsd email for information on logging into UCPath (UCSD Payroll system), enrolling in direct deposit, and using the timekeeping system.

Submitting a timesheet:

Timesheets must be submitted online every two weeks. Typical Undergraduate Tutor assignments are 25% time, or 110 total hours for the quarter, an average of 10 hours per week (Finals Week included).

Undergraduate Tutors are paid on a biweekly schedule. See Payroll Calendars for more information on the payroll schedule.

Give Special Attention: To the average number of hours per week that the assignment will entail. This information is listed in the original offer email and on the appointment notification. Increasing the maximum number of hours is not an option! Tutors who believe they may exceed the maximum number of hours of assignment must consult with the supervising instructor to ensure that workload remains within the guidelines. Early communication with the supervisor is essential.

IA Resources:

The IA Resource page includes information about office hours, make-up sections, review sessions, technology, etc.

Dr. Stanley Lo is the Faculty Advisor for Instructional Assistants. The Faculty Advisor is a point of initial contact for inquiries related to professional development as an IA, science of teaching, classroom effectiveness, or other questions and concerns related to ethics, behavior, or academic integrity.

Expected duties are noted in the Performance Expectations drawer on this page.

Contacting the supervising instructor:

IAs may or may not receive direction from the supervising instructor prior to the start of the quarter. If the instructor does not reach out prior to the quarter, IAs should feel free to contact the supervising instructor via email, or to simply attend the first class meeting. Specific discussion section assignments are coordinated directly with the supervising instructor.

Hiring Information

Only available to students who have been offered a Winter 2023 IA appointment and who have completed necessary hiring paperwork in advance of the meeting time.

Appointments are available during the below days/times, If all appointments are booked, students are encouraged to check back daily, as appointments open on a rolling basis. Availability is subject to change.

Schedule an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, click on the time block for your preferred day to see available appointment times. If the same time block is listed multiple times, multiple advisors are scheduling appointments during that time, and students are encouraged to check day/times in each time block to display all appointment availability.

All appointments will be offered virtually on zoom.

Please make an appointment using one of the following links depending on your session of hire:

Winter 2023

Application

Apply for Winter 2023
Questions? Send to biota@ucsd.edu