April 18, 2007

Undergraduate assistantships now available

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — In a short list of things undergraduate students need, money and professional experience would surely be near the top. Snagging an undergraduate assistantship, administered through the financial aid office at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is a way to earn both.

More than 230 undergraduate assistant positions are posted on the financial aid office's Web site, www.siu.edu/~fao.jobs. Students in these jobs work between 10 and 20 hours per week. The positions pay $10 an hour and students can earn up to $800 a month.

Academic Scholarship Coordinator Terri Harfst said SIUC faculty and staff propose the assistantships. They range from research and laboratory positions to program coordination, facility management, data collection and analysis – virtually every area of activity in every college on campus.

Psychology department Chair Jane Swanson said the assistantships benefit her department and the students.

"One thing that should really be appreciated about this program is that it's not just grunt work, but real professional experience for the students," she said. An undergraduate assistant worked with Swanson on the department's Career Exploration Day. She said the student was "fully integrated" in the program at all stages with hands-on experience from planning to finish.

The School of Music also relies heavily on undergraduate assistants. "They are invaluable in keeping this program operating," Director Robert Weiss said. "The assistantships provide invaluable experience to the students."

Delaney Reese, a sophomore working with the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra in the School of Music, said she heard about the undergraduate assistantship from a professor. Her assistantship provides her with the opportunity to work closely with music professors and the orchestra.

Undergraduate applicants must be full-time on-campus students, maintain a 2.25 cumulative grade point average and meet the specific requirements of the department. There is a two-year limit on undergraduate assistant employment.

Faculty and staff may begin submitting contracts on Monday, April 23.