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Course Support Funding

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IntroSems offers two types of funding

Course Assistance Funds

IntroSems instructors are eligible for student help assisting with course preparations and implementation. There are two types of student support roles: Course Development Assistant (CDA) and Course Development Assitant Plus (CDA+). The main difference between them is that a CDA is a student you select and hire through us while a CDA+ is a student specially hired and trained by IntroSems to help you with pedagogical, technological, and logistical support. A CDA+ can also help you for one-off or short term projects at any point during the year in addition to course support, whereas a CDA is limited to a total of 110 hours (approx 10 hours/week for the 11 weeks). 

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. 

Request a CDA+ or CDA

CDA or CDA+?

Qualification / Role CDA CDA+
Instructor selected X  
Trained by SIS in academic technology and small seminar pedagogical practices   X
Content expertise X  
Help organizing guest speakers, field trips, course activities, and other course enhancements X X
Help learning Canvas   X
Help setting up Canvas X X
Research and recommend digital tools for student engagement, activities, and assignments   X
Ongoing help and support X X
One-time or Short-term projects   X
Training and supporting students using digital tools for learning, activities, and assignments   X
Providing feedback and mentoring on works in progress X X

Course Development Assistants (CDAs)

Request a minimum of two weeks before the start date.

The CDA can work for up to 110 total hours on projects related to the development, design, and implementation of the course. The only restrictions are that CDAs may not evaluate or grade student work because that interferes with one of the goals of IntroSems to foster mentoring relationships between students and faculty. 

The 110 hours can be distributed before and/or during the quarter of the IntroSem, depending on the project prioritization. CDAs may help with creating and organizing course materials, activities, and assignments; coordinating the request and execution of course enhancement funds; facilitating synchronous class sessions; or serving as a peer mentor or tutor. 

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 two weeks 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/hr for undergraduate students and $21/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. 

Request a CDA

Course Development Assistants Plus (CDA+, Formerly Digital Ambassadors)

A CDA+ can do everything a CDA would do PLUS has already been hired and trained by SIS to offer pedagogical, technological, and logistical support. While they are able to offer regular in-class assistance as needed, they are also available for more short-term projects, such as training you on tools like Zoom before the quarter, helping you set up your Canvas course, troubleshooting tech issues, and assisting you one-off needs like guest speakers. A CDA+ can come in to help with one class session or work up to 10 hours a week for the duration of a project or course. 

They are a good option if you don’t need a student regularly, don’t want to find a student on your own, or want to ensure that you work with a student who is knowledgeable about using technology for teaching. 

Testimonials: One Fall 2020 instructor utilizing the program commented that their Ambassador was "upbeat, figures out everything, [is] easy to work with, and helps me understand the perspective of the remote student." Other instructors commented on their Ambassador's knowledge, patience, and creativity, and noted that they gave helpful suggestions for class.

Request a CDA+

Course Enhancement Funds

Request Course Enhancements

In service of the mentoring and pedagogical goals of the program, faculty teaching any IntroSem may request the following types of financial support:

Please request course enhancement funds at least two weeks before the event or activity. Each type of course enhancement may be used once per course.

Mentoring and Reunion Meals

All courses are pre-approved for $25 per individual (including tax and tip) for a class Mentoring Meal during the IntroSem and a Reunion Meal within a year of the IntroSem. No alcohol is permitted, even for of age participants.

Please reach out directly to our Business Team ( to arrange a visit to the Faculty Club or to pick up a department credit card. Include your course number in the subject line.

To submit receipts or reimbursement requests, complete the course enhancement request form.  

Receipts Requirements

  1. Number of entrees much 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

IntroSem instructors are welcome to invite subject experts to interact with their students during a class session such as a discussion, a workshop, or a performance. All eligible guest speakers receive a $250 honorarium. To qualify, the guest speaker may not be a Stanford affiliate. An individual course may request honoraria for up to three guest speakers.

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 Supplies

Up to $125 per student, instructor, and course development assistant for the quarter.

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

Up to $125 per student, instructor, and course development assistant for the quarter.

IntroSems can fund a field trip connected to the subject and learning goals of the course. Field trips should be a required component of the course. 

In the course enhancement request form, list the planned activities 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 arrange the trip.


Up to $50 per quarter. 

For snacks for activities or class, submit receipts and a reimbursement form available through the course enhancement request form.  

For questions or consultations on incorporating course enhancement funds into your IntroSem, reach out to Lauri Dietz.

Request Course Enhancements