Professional Ethics

Undergraduate Course Assistants are required to maintain the same standard of professional ethics as any other teaching faculty at University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

FERPA and Confidentiality of Student Records

Undergraduate Course Assistants must uphold FERPA to protect student privacy and confidentiality in all aspects of the course:

  • Grades or other assessments of student performance and evaluation must never be discussed with anyone other than the student and the course instructors.
  • Any academic or personal information about the student should be kept confidential and not discussed with anyone except the student and course instructors. 

Promoting academic integrity

As part of the course staff, Undergraduate Course Assistants must promote academic integrity within the course they are a UCA for and in all other courses they are enrolled in. Undergraduate Course Assistants must not facilitate any instance of academic dishonesty and should report any suspicions of academic dishonesty to the instructor immediately.

Fair and consistent evaluation of student work

One of the major duties of a UCA, is to evaluate, grade, and give constructive feedback to student work. When doing any evaluation or grading, a UCA must be both fair and consistent to all student work and provide clear feedback. As a UCA, you must work with the other course staff to minimize any conflicts of interests. Ideally, if a student in the course presents a conflict of interest, another UCA or TA will grade that student’s work.

Professionality with all course staff and students

As an Undergraduate Course Assistant, you are a representative of the college and university. With that role, you are expected to maintain a level of professionalism with all of your interactions with the instructor, TAs, fellow UCAs, and students.