Column: Students deserve to know when classes are taught by graduate assistants

I strolled into the classroom at the beginning of the semester ready to begin a fun new class. I was early so I waited a few minutes as the rest of the class trickled in. Finally a student arrived, walked up to the front of the room, and said in a polite voice, “Good morning class. I hope this will be a great semester.”

I was confused; the woman standing up in front of me could not have been more than a few years older than myself.

“Where was the professor?” I asked myself. “The one that I had looked up on both the school website and The one whose credentials and reputation I had trusted as I enrolled in the class?”

The woman standing up told us that she was a graduate student. She explained to us that the professor whom the school said would be the teacher would actually be the director of the program, and would never actually be in the class. I was shocked and annoyed. I do not question that the graduate student was highly qualified to teach the course, but the point of the matter was that I had been given a basket of false goods.

AU should list what courses are taught by what teachers, graduate students or other members of the faculty, directly on the schedule of classes Subject&search=116&mode=crs&stat=ALL&hr=&mn=&ampm=AM that students use to pick their courses. If they have enough confidence to hire these graduate students to teach, than they ought to have faith enough in them to tell students ahead of time that they will be teaching the course. Students should know what they are getting when they sign up for these courses, especially considering how much they are paying for them.

Connor Herrick O’Brien is a Sophomore in the School of International Service

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