Faculty members who are interested in hiring a Teaching Assistant—Course Assistant (CA), Teaching Fellow (TF), or Course Coach (CC)—should:

  1. Ensure that their course qualifies under the HKS allocation guidelines below
  2. Understand all Teaching Assistant (TA) policies and procedures explained on this page
  3. Contact Academic Planning
Making Effective Use of CAs and TFs

A two-page tip sheet and appendices issued by SLATE describe how faculty members can effectively use CAs and TFs to support student learning in their courses.

Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty members are responsible for:

  • Supervising TAs
  • Signing weekly CA timesheets
  • Ensuring that TAs and Faculty Assistants understand their roles in the teaching team
  • Holding TAs to a high professional standard

Faculty members are also responsible for ensuring that TAs understand these HKS and Harvard policies:

Coordinating the Teaching Team

Courses run best when faculty members, TAs, and Faculty Assistants meet regularly to discuss workload, due dates, coordination, and responsibilities. For example, course material production should be handled only by Faculty Assistants—TAs may not start work more than a week before the beginning of the semester and Faculty Assistants are more familiar with the production process.

Allocation Policies

HKS allocates TAs based on course enrollment. Initial assignments are based on the previous year’s enrollment. Assignments are sometimes made on a standby basis when enrollment is uncertain or a course is new. They may be rescinded if enrollment drops below the given threshold.

  Standard Guideline Quantitative Guideline
First TA 30 20
Second TA 45 30
Third TA 75 50
Fourth TA 105 70
Fifth TA 135 90
Sixth TA 165 110

The two thresholds are not a reflection of the level, value, or seriousness of courses, but the general difference in workload for students enrolled in those courses. Quantitative courses generally require more problem sets, and students often need more tutoring.

Jointly Listed Courses

HKS assigns TAs to jointly listed courses based the following guidelines:

  • If there are a total of 30 students in a course under both numbers combined, HKS will pay for half of a CA or TF.
  • If there are total of 45 students in a course under both numbers combined, HKS will pay for a CA or TF.
  • If total enrollment is skewed so that very few students have registered under the HKS number, HKS will negotiate with the jointly listing department about splitting costs.