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Course Support Funding

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IntroSems offers two types of funding

Course Assistance

IntroSems instructors are eligible for student help assisting with course preparations and implementation. There are two types of student support roles: Course Development Assistant Plus (CDA+) and Course Development Assistant (CDA)

Request a CDA+ or CDA

CDA+ Program

The CDA+ Program, coordinated by Hollie Fortkamp, is a pool of students specially trained  in Canvas design, classroom and academic technology, inclusive teaching practices, and IntroSems' program resources, policies, and processes. In addition, each CDA+ brings their own unique skill set- meet the CDA+ crew. They can also help with implementing courses enhancements, such as coordinating mentor meals, planning fieldtrips, and arranging guest speakers. All CDA+s have taken at least one IntroSem. You may request a CDA+ at any point before or during your quarter of instruction.


CDAs are typically former or current students (though not currently enrolled in the IntroSem) who may have specific content knowledge related to the course. As with CDA+s, CDAs can also help with course enhancement logistics. CDAs attend an IntroSems program orientation and are assigned a CDA+ mentor who is available to answer questions. We have a limited number of CDA spots each quarter and requests must be made a minimum of 30 days before their first day of work.

CDA Logistical Details

  • CDAs cannot be paid retroactively; we must process the paperwork to hire them BEFORE you assign them any work. Please contact us at least 30 days before you want the student to begin working.
  • These positions are paid hourly; a one-time payment is not available for this position.
  • CDAs are eligible for hourly pay up to 10 hours/week for 110 hours total.
  • CDAs are paid $17.50/hr for undergraduate students and $25.50/hr for graduate students.
  • CDAs must be enrolled during the dates of employment. A student is not eligible to be a CDA while on a Leave of Absence. 
  • CDAs must live on or near campus during the dates of employment. 

Neither role should be grading, evaluating student work, or taking the place of an absent instructor, although they may supplement the instructor’s assistance in-class with hands-on projects. Teaching Assistant (TA) positions for classroom instruction are not supported by IntroSems because our goal is to foster connections between instructors and students. 

Hollie Fortkamp will work with you to determine whether a CDA+ or CDA is a better fit. Reach out to her with any questions (

The deadline for SQ CDA requests is Monday, March 6th. After this date, we are happy to support your SQ course with a CDA+. 

Request a CDA+ or CDA

Course Enhancement Funds

Request Course Enhancements

In service of the mentoring and pedagogical goals of the program, instructors teaching any IntroSem may request one or two of the following types of financial support for each class they teach:

Please request course enhancement funds at least two weeks before the event or activity. Because our goal is to support at least one course enhancement in every IntroSem, we may not be able to support every request or may only be able to provide partial coverage. If you have a big (i.e., expensive) idea for a course enhancement, discuss it with IntroSems program staff first to see what may be possible. 

Mentoring and Reunion Meals

All courses are pre-approved for $25 per individual (including tax and tip) for one class Mentoring Meal during the IntroSem and one Reunion Meal within a year of the IntroSem. It is possible to split a mentoring meal into two groups, but please note that the per person rate of $25 per student per quarter should be maintained. No alcohol is permitted, even for of age participants. It is assumed students are responsible for the personal cost of transportation to the mentoring or reunion meal. Transportation costs to a mentoring meal are not covered by the IntroSems Program.

We are happy to work with you to brainstorm food and location ideas. (Hint: If feasible, students love being invited to faculty homes for class meals.) If you choose Stanford Faculty Club, please be aware that we can only book your class for the main dining room as the new charges for the Club's private dining rooms are cost prohibitive. Please include all reservation details (date, time, and group size) in your request and the business team will book your reservation under our Club member number.

To request help with meal arrangements, including payment options and submitting receipts or reimbursement requests, complete the course enhancement request form.  

Receipts Requirements

  1. Number of entrees must match the number of people eligible for reimbursement (e.g., 1 person may order one sandwich with sides and a drink but not two sandwiches).
  2. Must include the method of payment.
  3. If receipts are in a language other than English, please include a translation.

Honorarium for Guest Speaker

IntroSems instructors are welcome to invite subject experts (up to 2 speakers per seminar) to interact with their students during a class session such as a discussion, a workshop, or a performance. All eligible guest speakers receive a $350 honorarium. To qualify, the guest speaker may not be a Stanford affiliate.

Please attach to your course enhancement request this completed form for each requested honorarium.

A member of the SIS Business Team will reach out if there are any problems with the form. If not, then the payment process begins the day after the speaker is scheduled to attend.

Course Activity Supplies

IntroSems can fund special course materials needed for a hands-on activity led by the instructor. The materials must be used to make or do something, such as art or lab supplies. In other words, only things that could not be reused. The materials can't be things such as equipment or books because then they may be subject to gift rules and students could be taxed. If a student's required book expenses are significantly higher than the student budget allowances, they can submit documentation of their costs to the Financial Aid Office which may adjust their budget and increase their financial aid eligibility. 

In the course enhancement request form, list the supplies requested with estimated costs. You may attach supporting documents for the estimated costs to the form. Describe how and when the supplies will be used in an activity that supports the focus and learning goals of your IntroSem. Our Business Team is happy to work with you to order and purchase the materials.

Field Trips

IntroSems can fund a field trip connected to the subject and learning goals of the course. IntroSems can only pay for students enrolled in the course, the instructor(s), and CDA+ or CDA. 

If a field trip must include a meal because of the timing, the meals budget is $25/person for lunch and $35/person for dinner (including tax and tip). Please retain the itemized receipt and submit a justification for why food had to be purchased. The meal expense should be included in the field trip budget. 

In the course enhancement request form, list the planned activities with estimated costs (e.g., tickets, transportation, food, parking). You may attach supporting documents for the estimated costs to the form. Describe how the field trip supports the focus and learning goals of your IntroSem. Our Business Team is happy to work with you to arrange the trip or provide estimates for the cost of the trip. 

Transportation Options

Transportation costs have gone up significantly in the past year. If possible, we encourage you to choose options that use public transportation or that go shorter distances and for shorter durations. Scaling back on transportation costs will help us keep our goal to support at least one course enhancement per IntroSem.

Charter: Keep in mind a charted bus typically costs approximately $1,000 for a 3-4 hour field trip and approximately $1,500 for a half-day field trip for trips within the Bay Area (e.g., Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco). See Charter Services' estimated rates for reference when planning transportation. 

Lyft: Lyft codes are available from the IntroSems Program upon request.

Rental Car: Student staff (CDAs) over 21 may use their personal vehicle, but the student’s personal insurance becomes the primary in the case of an accident. Students 18 and over may drive Hertz rental vehicles, but need to sign the Driver Authorization Form.

Personal Vehicles: Per university policy, students or student staff under 21 are not permitted to drive their personal vehicles for field trips.


We have a modest budget of $50 per IntroSem course per quarter for snacks. If you would like to purchase snacks for an activity or class, request a PCard in advance and submit receipts and a reimbursement form through the course enhancement request form.  

For questions or consultations on incorporating course enhancement funds into your IntroSem, reach out to the program at 

Request Course Enhancements