Course Support Funding

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 for the AY 2020-21 year: Course Development Assistants (CDAs) and Digital Ambassadors. The main difference between them is that CDAs are students you choose and supervise to help you with course content, while the Digital Ambassadors are a group of student academic technologists hired, trained, and supervised by SIS to help you with the platforms you are using to deliver and administer the course and assignments. You are welcome to request both a CDA and a Digital Ambassador.

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 ineligible expense. 

All CDA and Digital Ambassador positions for 2020-21 are remote-only. 

Request a CDA

Request a Digital Ambassador


CDA or Digital Ambassador?




Digital Ambassador

Instructor Selected



Trained by SIS in Academic Technology



Content Expertise



Help Learning Zoom



Help Facilitating Zoom During Class



Help Learning Canvas



Help Setting Up Canvas



Research & Recommend Digital Tools for Student Engagement, Activities, and Assignments



Ongoing Help and Support



One-Time or Short-Term Projects



Training & Supporting Students Using Digital Tools for Learning, Activities, and Assignments



Providing Feedback and Mentoring on Works in Progress



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 or on a flex term during the dates of employment. A student is not eligible to be a CDA while on a Leave of Absence. 
  • CDA positions for 2020-21 are remote only.

Request a CDA


Digital Ambassadors

Unlike CDAs, Digital Ambassadors are student academic technologists who have already been hired and trained by SIS. 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. 

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 Digital Ambassador


Course Enhancement Funds

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

Mentoring and Reunion Meals (Remote Only)

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 Seminar. While these meals can't be in person this year due to physical distancing guidelines, you are still welcome to organize an online mentor meal.

However, we can only reimburse students and instructors at this time. Food gift cards are not allowed.

In the course enhancement request form, you may either attach students' reimbursement forms, receipts, names, and emails along with your receipt and reimbursement form, or have students email with their receipt and reimbursement forms including the course number in the subject line.

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

You can request for IntroSems to fund special course materials needed for a hands-on activity led by the instructor. The activity must enrich the educational experience of the students in meeting the learning goals for your seminar. IntroSems cannot pay for materials that would otherwise be required for the class, such as books. 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. 

Please note, "supply kits" for laboratory and studio classes must be pre-approved by EH&S at least one month before sending them. For more information, please see

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.

Field Trips

Field trip funding is not available for academic year 2020-21.

Film Night/Snacks

Film night/snacks funding is not available for academic year 2020-21.

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

Request Course Enhancements