Published: Sept. 28, 2021 By
two people discussing an agreement

Clear communication of expectations is beneficial to both the faculty advisor and graduate student advisee. To this end,The CU Boulder Graduate School  recently developed an Advising Agreement that facilitates conversations between graduate students and their mentors f on a number of topics, including communication preferences, timeframes for and style of feedback, and establishing a roadmap to degree completion. This agreement is intended to be a supplemental tool that supports graduate students’ short and long-term goals, while also giving advisors tools to clarify the parameters of the professional relationship. For more information on this agreement and to begin these discussions within your department, visit the Graduate School’s Mentoring Resources page. 

In a similar vein, the Center for Teaching & Learning has developed a Teaching Assistant/Instructor of Record Agreement to facilitate conversations about expectations. This document is intended as a template that can be adjusted and revised to fit an individual department’s needs. Discussions between faculty and TAs can build a strong foundation of mentoring for graduate students to not only be effective teachers while on the CU campus, but to extend that to their future careers as educators and mentors themselves. The CTL encourages all instructors of record to have conversations with their teaching assistants prior to the beginning of each semester to clarify expectations.