Frequently Asked Questions
- What do current members of the ESS GA Learning Community have to say about their experience?
- "By creating a network of young professionals interested in numerous career areas I feel better prepared to assist my students. The ability to reach out to any area of ESS through a fellow grad student has been extremely beneficial. Additionally, the community has provided a wonderful outlet to get away from work and enjoy time making memories with people I hope to stay lifelong friends with." – Alyssa Wolter, Events & Conference Services Graduate Assistant
- "This experience has fostered tremendous growth, in varying aspects of my development, in such a short period of time. I have a group of people that I can share my experiences with as I move through my master's program. This learning community affords me the opportunity to also learn from students who are pursuing their doctoral degrees. Before this community, I felt I was alone when it came to graduate studies. Being a first-generational graduate student puts a great deal of pressure on me. Having this group of people to turn to, that are experiencing the same thing, is comforting. It is one of the best things that has happened within my pursuits of higher education!" – Whitney Thomas, Multicultural Academic Student Services Graduate Assistant
- "I believe there are two distinct advantages that the GA Learning Community at Central offers: the networking with your peers and the professional development. The orientation and activities planned for the Learning Community help to build relationships among peers who might work in your division or sit next to you in class. It provides for an enjoyable transition into the CMU community and helps set you up for success in your assistantship and academics. The professional development piece is also valuable since you get to hear from experts in the field as well as receive mentoring from professionals right here on campus." – Robert Zinger, Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center Graduate Assistant
- "When I moved in I was terrified because I knew no one or nothing in the area, but from the first meeting, everyone was polite and assisted me in EVERY way that they could. Looking back on it, I can attest that the sense of community within our group truly made my transition that much easier. I'm hopeful that I can provide similar support to the upcoming cohort members." – Le Shorn Benjamin, Educational Leadership Assessment Doctoral Student
- What does the ESS GA compensation package include?
- The ESS graduate assistantship carries an annual stipend (last year's stipend $10,800) and 20 hours of tuition remission, which can be applied to your coursework during the fall, spring, and subsequent summer semesters. As a graduate assistant within the Division of Enrollment & Student Services you are eligible for free on-campus housing and meal plan. Graduate Assistants receiving housing will be required to attend monthly professional development sessions as part of the GA Learning Community during the academic year of your appointment.
- What does the on-campus housing and meal plan include?
- Each graduate assistant has a private room in Robinson Hall. Robinson Hall is a smoke-free, residential housing area, located on the north end of campus on Bellows Street, just steps from the Health Professions/College of Medicine building and close to Mission Street as well as downtown Mt. Pleasant. There is a basic fitness center and laundry facility located on the ground floor, and a kitchenette for personal cooking. Your room contains the following items: full size bedframe, full size mattress, wardrobe, coffee table, end table, small bookshelf, desk, desk chair, couch, private bathroom, shower curtain, cable hook-up, telephone and window curtains
The ESS GA meal plan is an unlimited meal plan, with no flex dollars (flex dollars can be added individually at the cost of the student).
- What if I opt out of the on-campus housing?
- Graduate assistants who do not accept the on-campus housing will not receive a meal plan. Certain sessions of the August orientation and monthly professional development are optional for graduate assistants not living on-campus.
- What is the commitment of an Enrollment Student Services Graduate Assistant?
- Graduate assistants serve 20 hours per week in various departments within ESS. Some graduate assistant positions are academic year (10 month) and others are for the full year (12 month), this is indicated on the job description.
- ESS graduate assistants move in and begin the Learning Community orientation and training the second week of August.
- Once a month, ESS graduate assistants participate in professional development workshops.
- Do I have to be admitted into a graduate program before I can apply for an assistantship?
- Acceptance into a graduate program is preferred, but not required. Graduate Assistant offers are contingent upon acceptance into a master's program at CMU. Each graduate program has a different admissions process and timeline. Applying early to a graduate program will help coordinate admission and assistantship efforts.