Associate Instructor (AI) Information

Become a SICE associate instructor

Associate instructors, or AIs (sometimes called teaching assistants at other universities), assist with teaching and course administration. Your primary job as an AI is to assist your faculty. Be proactive, communicative, and responsive, and be sure to talk to your faculty about what they need from and expect of you.

AI responsibilities

Every AI assignment is different. Some courses have lab sections, some do not; some professors choose to take attendance, some do not; some AIs will hold office hours, others might not. Additionally, the kinds of assignments you grade will vary from course to course.

As an AI, you’ll be required to do some or all of the following:

  • Attend class
  • Attend AI meetings
  • Complete timesheets
  • Conduct office hours
  • Coordinate guest speakers
  • Find educational materials related to the course
  • Facilitate as needed
  • Generate solutions
  • Grade assignments, enter grades, regrade assignments, and justify grades
  • Manage a classroom
  • Mentor students
  • Motivate students
  • Plan lessons
  • Post announcements
  • Prep questions
  • Print class material
  • Proctor exams
  • Stay ahead by reading course materials
  • Take attendance
  • Teach labs/lecture/discussions

In addition, there are some university-wide requirements that all IU employees must adhere to. These include IU (or state or federal) regulations on student privacy, sexual harassment, relations with students, and respect for students with disabilities.

How to become an AI

Most of our AI positions are filled by Ph.D. students (and a smaller number of master’s students) who receive an AI position as part of their funding package. If you’ve been offered an AI position, you’ll receive notification in your acceptance package.

A small number of AI positions are open to students who don’t receive positions as part of their funding. These open positions are hourly positions that do not provide fee remission or health benefits; however, they are an excellent opportunity to get paid while developing your teaching and communication skills.

Apply for an AI position

You can apply online if you did not receive a position as part of your funding. Once you have completed the online application, you will be considered for open positions throughout the school. We will match you with courses based on your skills, experience, academic performance, and other relevant selection criteria.

Be persistent and apply every semester. Our courses, enrollments, and AI needs are constantly evolving, and if you did not receive an appointment one semester, for the next semester you might be our perfect candidate.

Please note that we generally have many more applicants than we have open positions. Filling out the online application is a necessary step towards being awarded a position, but it does not guarantee you a position. Additionally, being awarded a position for one semester does not guarantee a position the next semester.

If positions are available for which you are a good fit, we will contact you. Do not contact departments or faculty directly.

Things to consider before you apply

Our AIs are a key element in the success of our undergraduate programs, and we take hiring and training very seriously. If you are unable or unwilling to meet our requirements, it is in your best interest not to apply at all. Having an AI quit or be dismissed from their position mid-semester is an enormous disruption to the learning environment.

Key requirements

Before you apply for a position, be sure that you can fulfill these requirements:

  • If your native language is not English, you must pass the Test of English Proficiency for Associate Instructor Candidates (TEPAIC) in order to receive an AI assignment. Proving your English proficiency is a requirement of both the state of Indiana and Indiana University, and is nonnegotiable.
  • You must be eligible for employment in the United States. This is true for most U.S. citizens as well as most international students, but you will want to verify this and be prepared with the appropriate documents.
  • You must be willing and able to fulfill all of the responsibilities of an AI listed on this page. We expect our AIs to be available for the entire semester, with the exception of emergencies, and to perform their duties in a timely, honest, and diligent fashion.
  • If you have not previously taken an approved pedagogy class, you will be required to complete the AI training program. This consists of in-house and Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) workshops scheduled throughout the first two semesters of teaching.

Managing time conflicts

In general, your AI assignment takes priority. Serving as an AI is, after all, a large part of your job. However, if you have a mandatory graduate seminar that conflicts with your AI assignment, or some exceptional circumstance has occurred, we do try to accommodate your needs. If this is the case, send a message to

Be aware of the time commitment

Your AI assignment begins on the first day of classes and ends at the close of the semester (note, this is not the same as the end of classes). You are expected to be in Bloomington and available to your faculty for the entire semester. If you are hoping to arrive late or leave early, you must first confirm with your instructor. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in the termination of your AI employment.

You are responsible for confirming the start and end of the academic semester. You can find that information on IU’s official calendar.

If you will be serving as an AI for the first time, you will need to arrive early in the fall for AI training and orientation. At this training, you’ll receive your AI handbook and sign an acknowledgement of your training.

AI appointment timeline

In general, we make AI appointments well in advance of the start of the semester. Here are some rough guidelines for the time frame of the application, planning, and assignment process.

When you get your AI assignment, be sure to communicate with your faculty instructor as soon as possible. When you receive your assignment, your instructor will also receive a list of their AIs, which could be 8 to 10 per course.

You can expect your faculty instructor to contact you, but it never hurts to communicate early and often. Remember, your primary job as an AI is to assist your faculty. Be proactive, communicative, and responsive.

Required steps

You must complete several essential steps before the start of your AI assignment: complete the FERPA tutorial and quiz, complete the data protection and privacy tutorial and quiz, complete the plagiarism tutorial and test, and set up your Exchange account.

About your performance as an AI

In addition to filling out a course and faculty instructor evaluation, students will fill out an AI evaluation at the end of the semester. If you do a good job, these evaluations can form a critical part of your professional portfolio. It is not unusual for a set of stellar AI evaluations to establish a job candidate as an excellent and accomplished instructor. Even critical evaluations can be enormously helpful in your development as an instructor.

If you do not perform at the level of expectation or if you have transgressed rules and/or conduct as explained in the Graduate Student Academic Appointees Guide, the department head and faculty can make an administrative decision to fire you.

Even if you have been guaranteed an AI position as part of your funding package, this funding is contingent on acceptable performance. We have unfortunately had to remove AIs from their positions. As you might imagine, this causes a whole host of problems for those students in terms of their funding, relationship with faculty advisors, and academic reputation.