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CS Course Assistants

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Current CA's | Frequently Asked Questions

  • I've accepted my offer, what's next? After you've accepted an offer, keep an eye out in the following weeks for an email from Meredith Hutchin ( regarding the mandatory CA Training and other important information you will need. For additional information on preparation, please refer to the Current CS Course Assistantship guide.
  • When will my tuition waiver go into effect? The exact timing varies but the tuition waiver will go into effect prior to the tuition deadline.  
    • Fall Quarter: Oct 15th
    • Winter Quarter: Jan 15th
    • Spring Quarter: April 15th
    • Summer Quarter: July 15th
  • When do I get paid? 
    • The six Autumn pay dates are on 10/22, 11/7, 11/22, 12/7, 12/20, and 1/7.
    • The six Winter pay dates are on 1/22, 2/7, 2/22, 3/7, 3/22, and 4/7.
    • The six Spring pay dates are on 4/22, 5/7, 5/22, 6/7, 6/22, and 7/7.
    • The four Summer pay dates are on 7/22, 8/7, 8/22, and 9/7.
  • Where can I borrow textbooks for my course? There is a small library of CS textbooks which are available for borrowing by TA's. Texts are to be returned at the end of the quarter. Make sure to borrow the textbook for the class if you don't have it. If it is not in the library, contact Bettina Santos ( to see if the department is able to purchase a copy for you.
  • Who do I contact to schedule a room/reserve a space for a poster session? Please contact Vanessa Zamora ( for assistance regarding scheduling rooms, reimbursements, alternative exams, poster sessions, and copy codes. Please try and give as much advanced warning as possible!
  • Should I attend classes? It is up to the instructor to decide whether you should attend the classes or not. Keep in mind that if you attend classes, you will be better in sync with the class and will be able to develop your own perspective on the material. Additionally, the time after class is perfect to meet the students and let them know that you exist. 
  • When should I set office hours? If the class is offered to SCPD students, one CA should have an office hour sometime after 6pm, so that SCPD students can come by after work. Please discuss office hours with the faculty member for the course you're working. Office hours can usually be scheduled flexibly but be aware that if you set an office hour the day before the homework is due, around 4pm, chances are that you will have a lot of students attend. Setting office hours right before due date is convenient for those who procrastinate. However, it also encourages procrastination. There are a couple good reasons for having office hours a little in advance of due dates:
    • It doesn't reward procrastination. 
    • It recognizes the fact that assignments aren't always flawless. If people need to start looking at the homework well in advance of the due date in order to see what questions they might have for office hours, this provides time for the CAs to correct or disambiguate the assignment, and reduces everyone's stress level. 
  • How do I get access to the course website? In order to get access to the course website, please contact the IT department here.
  • How do I get added as a CA/TA on Canvas? Contact the instructor if you would like to be added as a CA/TA on Canvas.
  • Should I prepare assignments? Solutions? CA's are not typically responsible for creating assignments but you may be asked to prepare solutions if the instructor doesn't already have them. It is a good idea to prepare solutions in the light of the errors you saw the most often made while grading. At the end of a solution, you may list typical mistakes and the reason why these are mistakes, so that students learn by the mistakes made by others (you will at the same time reduce the number of requests for regradings).
  • How do I make copies? A copy code can be used for each class to make copies of needed documents. This code works on all copy machines in the Gates building. For big copy jobs, it is recommended to use the fastest machine (Gates 169). For help with the copy machine or if you notice we're running low on paper, please see Hector Gamez (Gates B18). 

Course Climate and Culture in CS Presentation

New CA Training Presentation