Who is required to take the online course Professional Standards and Ethics for GSIs?

According to the Graduate Council’s Policy on Appointments and Mentoring of GSIs, all first-time GSIs at UC Berkeley are required to take the course.

Anyone who has a CalNet ID is welcome to take it, including faculty, staff, and students.

When must it be completed?

Every first-time GSI must successfully complete the course before they interact with students, whether in person or online, in their role as an instructor.

What topics does the course address?

The course consists of five modules:

  • GSI Ethics and Professional Responsibilities
  • Creating Inclusive Classrooms
  • Teaching Students with Disabilities
  • Fostering Academic Integrity
  • Creating an Educational Environment Free of Sexual Harassment

More information about these topics is posted on the Course Overview and Objectives page.

How long will it take to complete the course?

Each of the five modules should take approximately 45 minutes to complete, and each ends with a short quiz. The modules can be taken in different sessions over time; there is no need to take them all at once.

What does “successful completion” mean?

Successful completion means that the GSI scores 80% or higher on each of the five quizzes (that is, a minimum of 8 out of 10 items correct on each quiz).

What if a GSI cannot pass a quiz?

For each module the quiz can be taken up to five times. If you use all of your attempts and still have not passed, please contact the GSI Teaching & Resource Center ([email protected]) for assistance.

What if GSIs have questions after taking the course?

The Course Overview and Objectives page can serve as a refresher on the topics covered in the course or guide you back to the sections of the course that deal with a particular question; you are welcome to re-enter the course at any time.

The course includes an extensive Annotated Campus Resource List with contact information for units on campus that can address follow-up questions. A PDF version of the Annotated Campus Resource List can be downloaded from that web page.

In addition, content specialists from various campus offices listed in the Annotated Campus Resource List are available to give presentations in GSI pedagogy course meetings to supplement the information covered by the online course. Contact the GSI Teaching & Resource Center at [email protected] for assistance.

How will the University know that a GSI has completed the course?

A report of all the GSIs who successfully completed the course is generated from the gradebook in bCourses. This report is subsequently uploaded to a Student Information Systems (SIS) database. Because course completions are not auto-recorded in SIS, please be aware that there may be a delay between the time you finish the course and the time the completion registers in SIS.

How will I, or my department, know that I completed the online course?

A checklist of first-time GSI requirements should appear on your dashboard in CalCentral. Once the report of your completion is uploaded to SIS (please see “How will the University know…?” above), the item for the GSI Ethics Course will be removed from your CalCentral checklist. Because course completions are not auto-recorded in SIS, please be aware that there may be a delay between the time you finish the course and the time the completion registers in SIS.

Once SIS has the data, departmental Graduate Student Service Advisors will have the ability to verify individuals’ completions through their staff CalCentral interface.

Will I receive a certificate of completion?

No, there is no final certificate. However, you can print or take a screenshot of your bCourses gradebook entry showing the five passing scores.

Am I paid for taking the course?

Do GSIs still need to take the online sexual harassment prevention course offered by the UC Learning System?

Yes. The University has adopted a plan for all members of the UC Berkeley community to receive updated training about sexual harassment and sexual violence. The training strategy involves engaging every student and employee through multiple channels.

  • All incoming graduate students are required to take the online training module by Vector Solutions called “Sexual Assault Prevention for Graduate Students.” This training can be accessed via your CalCentral Dashboard. All incoming graduate students must also participate in a live virtual training offered through their department or the PATH to Care office in their first six weeks on campus. Options to complete this training are scheduled at the beginning of each term and at select department orientations. Further information can be found on the campus Addressing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment website under Required SVSH Prevention Trainings.  
  • All employees of the University, including GSIs, are required to take the UC Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for employees. As their hiring papers are processed, GSIs will be sent emails granting them access to the course.

The module on sexual harassment prevention in this online ethics course fulfills the sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention training requirement for GSIs in their first semester of teaching and is a long-standing preparation requirement for all first-time GSIs. It differs from the other trainings in that it focuses on sexual harassment issues as they may arise in the course of a GSI’s duties.

Who created the course?

The GSI Professional Standards and Ethics Online Course was created by the Graduate Division’s GSI Teaching & Resource Center with input from a distinguished advisory group consisting of professionals on the campus with expertise in the areas covered by the course. The advisory group included:

Connie Chiba, Former Coordinator, Disabled Students’ Services, Disabled Students’ Program
Nancy Chu, Former Assistant Vice Provost, Campus Climate and Compliance, Title IX/VI Compliance Officer
Kathleen Dickson, Former Ombudsperson for Graduate and Undergraduate Students and Postdoctoral Appointees
Sarah Hawthorne, Former Assistant Provost, Disability Compliance and Academic Compliance; Associate Campus Counsel
Maria Lucero Padilla, Former Manager, Compliance Education, Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
Neal Rajmaira, Former Director, Student Judicial Affairs
Susan Bell, Staff Psychologist, Counseling & Psychological Services
Wayne Creager, Former Case Administrator, Student Judicial Affairs

Information for the yearly updates to the course has been provided by:

Athletic Study Center
Derek van Rheenen, Director
Richard DeShong, Systems Analyst

Center for Student Conduct
Erin Slater, Former Conduct Coordinator
Maria S. Jaochico, Former Associate Director
Jason Wimbley, Former Conduct Coordinator
Becca Lopez, Assistant Dean of Students and Director
Erin Niebylski, Former Assistant Director
Jeff Woods, Former Student Conduct Specialist
Jessi Benveniste, Former Conduct Coordinator
Michael Mann, Interim Assistant Director
Amir-Ali Karkia, Former Conduct Coordinator

Center for Support and Intervention
Noah Henry-Darwish, Former Case Manager
James Kato, Interim Assistant Dean of Students and Director
Eric Lavi, Case Manager

Counseling & Psychological Services
Aaron Cohen, Staff Psychologist
Linda Zaruba, Staff Psychologist

Disability Compliance Office
Derek Coates, Disability Compliance Officer

Disabled Students’ Program
Karen Nielson, Former Director
Carolyn Swalina, Acting Assistant Director for Accommodation Services / Lead Disability Specialist and Supervisor
Mary Lee Vance, Former Disability Specialist
Paul Hippolitus, Former Director
Ed Rogers, Former Director

Division of Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Akirah Bradley, Former Assistant Dean of Students
Christina Gonzales, Former Associate Dean of Students and Director, Center for Student Conduct
Susan Trageser, Former Assistant Dean of Students and Director, Center for Student Conduct

Division of Equity and Inclusion
Amy Scharf, Project/Planning Analyst

Graduate Division
Sharon Paige-Medrich, Former Executive Assistant to the Dean
Andrew Smith, Former Assistant Dean for Research and Planning
Sara Quigley, Institutional Research Analyst

Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination
Cherie A. Scricca, Former Acting Director/Title IX Officer
Denise Oldham, Former Director and Title IX Officer
Elizabeth Rome, Associate Director of Investigations and Deputy Title IX Officer
Kellie Brennan, Executive Director of Civil Rights and Whistleblower Compliance
Ava Blustein, Special Projects Analyst and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Civil Rights Program

Office of Emergency Management
Amina Assefa, Manager

Office of Planning and Analysis
Sereeta Alexander, Director

Office of the Registrar
James F. Collins, Veteran Services, Interim Associate Registrar
Walter Wong, Former Registrar

PATH to Care Center
Mari Knuth-Bouracee, Former Director
Khirin Carter, Prevention Manager, Graduate Programs
Virginia A. DuPlessis, Former Assistant Director
Carol Callens, Confidential Advocate

Student Parent Center
Ginelle Perez
Tomie Lenear, Program Director

UC Police Department
Wade Macadam, Officer for Crime Prevention & Safety Programs
Kevin Vincent, Detective

If you have further questions regarding the course, please contact the GSI Teaching & Resource Center at [email protected].