Apply to Be a Graduate Mentor

Information Update

University Studies is not currently seeking new applicants for Graduate Mentor positions. Please check back for updates.


Graduate Mentor Positions

Who is eligible to apply?

To apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) position in UNST, all applicants must meet minimum program requirements for eligibility and demonstrate the minimum required skills in their application materials. GTAs are hired in accordance with the GEU-CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). Students will need to attend full-time once hired and not be post-bac or certificate-only status.

University Studies Mentor Program Application Hints and Tips

Applications are to be submitted through the University Scholarship portal. The "University Studies Peer Mentor Scholarship," is listed under "General University Scholarships," which you can find by clicking "Application for UNST Graduate Mentor Positions." Undergraduate Mentor Scholarships are listed under the same link.

Portland State University and the University Studies Program are equal opportunity employers, and Graduate Mentors receive competitive compensation for their work.

  • Apply early! The General University Scholarship application is used by many programs, and it is lengthy. Be sure to get an early start.
  • Be sure to save your work! If you have not finished your application and you do not save before you exit the online application, your work will not be saved and you will have to start over again.
  • Remember to select "Review Answers and Submit" at the end of your application!
  • Check your spam filter for mentor program e-mails and adjust your filter settings to avoid these e-mails going into your junk box in the future.
  • If you need to have your application re-opened (for other scholarships that occur at a later time), you must communicate this with us and the Financial Aid office so that the database system does not lose access to your application for mentoring. If you re-open your application after our deadline, without contacting both parties, your application may not appear in our final pool. 

What are the additional requirements for the application?

Along with the application, you are required to write three short essays including the UNST Graduate Mentor Essay,  and the UNST Mentor Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice Essay, and the UNST Teaching and Leadership Statement.

*Please note that if you are only applying for the Mentor Program's scholarship, you do not have to complete the essays for other departments or scholarships.

You will also need to submit two references and their contact information (email and phone number). One recommender should be an academic reference. The other recommender may be someone who can speak to your work experience or life in the community. 

Check out our informational screencast to learn more about applying and the University Studies Mentor Program

If you have any questions, please contact the University Studies office: 503-725-5890.


What is the recruitment and hiring process?

Based on UNST’s enrollment-based course model for offering GTAships, there will be opportunities for 1- and 3-term positions depending on actual term-by-term enrollments and course offerings during the 2022-23 academic year.

Applications will then be reviewed for minimum requirements, and those who meet the requirements will have their applications forwarded onto a committee for review.

NOTE: If an application does not meet minimum requirements by the due date, it will not be able to receive a review. We cannot notify applicants about incomplete applications, so please check it carefully and follow up with your recommenders about our due date.

Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by email to set up an interview time.  Interviews will take place in late May.

Pending Fall enrollment projections, successful Mentor Candidates will be offered contracts in late August to begin mentoring in the fall or be placed on a waitlist for an open position. Generally all UNST graduate mentors will be assigned two Sophomore Inquires in which they serve as course mentors (.49 FTE equivalent).

University Studies GTAs may not hold other campus employment during the period they are contracted to mentor in University Studies.

    Graduate Mentor Appointment and Program Requirements

    To apply for a GTA position in UNST, all applicants must meet minimum program requirements for eligibility and demonstrate the minimum required skills in their application materials. GTAs are hired in accordance with the GEU-CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). Please see the Position Description for more details.

    Minimum Required Skills

    • Outstanding interpersonal skills: 
      • Ability to navigate challenging situations; collaborate with different communication styles; persevere through the process of resolving conflict; and lead with deep listening skills and empathy.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills: 
      • Ability to write for and support students with their writing in a range of styles for formal and informal academic and community audiences.
    • Has ability to work flexibly, prioritize multiple tasks, communicate well with students and faculty, organize time efficiently, and quickly respond to email.
    • Has had prior experience in a teaching, mentoring, or equivalent leadership position using group facilitation, teaching strategies, and 1:1 support skills, such as (but not limited to) a team leader, a tutor, a volunteer, or a coach in an educational, workplace, or community organization.
    • Has a positive attitude and willingness to act as a role model.
    • Is highly self-motivated and driven by a desire to create collaborative learning communities.

    Mentor Compensation

    Graduate Peer Mentors are hired as Graduate Teaching Assistants and receive graduate tuition up to 9 credits at the Standard Base Rate, a portion of their mandatory fees, and a monthly stipend. All GTAs are assessed tuition at the in-state rate. More information on university-wide Graduate Assistantships is available from the Office of Graduate Studies. Post-baccalaureate and certificate-only students are not eligible for the Graduate Assistantship positions; mentors must be enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at PSU.

    What are other benefits?

    Every mentor benefits in unique ways. Mentors become part of a community of peers and scholars who help others to critically and responsibly engage in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world. Mentors gain valuable leadership experience, develop close working relationships with faculty and mentees, and become even better students themselves.