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CoSH Learning Assistant

Student Learning Assistant Program

What is an LA?

The College of Science offers faculty the opportunity to utilize learning assistants (LA) in their classrooms. Our LA program is based on the understanding that learning requires students to articulate and defend their ideas. Thus, LA supported courses provide regular opportunities for students to engage with each other in small groups using challenging curricular materials that help students to get closer to a scientific/mathematical understanding. An LA’s primary role is to facilitate these collaborative environments by listening, observing, engaging students in questioning, helping students articulate their ideas and justify their reasoning to themselves and other students. LAs may also be valuable in providing feedback to the professor on student understanding. LAs can be used in classroom situations such as lecture using clickers, flipped settings, recitation, labs, learning communities, help/review sessions both in person or online. LAs are coached in aspects of pedagogy, and most importantly, how to get students to answer their own questions instead of the LAs giving the answers.

female science student in lab coat

Expectations of the LA

  • Content: LAs meet weekly (~ 1 hr + prep time) with their supervising professor to review problem sets or other activities for the upcoming week, and reflect on the previous week.
  • Practice: LAs attend all classes as required by their supervising professor (1-3 hr) and facilitate collaboration among students by formatively assessing student understanding and asking guiding questions. Offer guided help sessions if required by the professor.
  • Pedagogy: LAs attend a special mathematics and science education seminar (NTSC 200 for 1SH) where they reflect on their own teaching and learning and make connections to relevant education literature. This course meets Engaged Learning (EL) and Learning Community (LCOM) designations.
LAs are compensated $900/semester
science, COSH, lab, mesa, microscope

Goals of the LA Program

  • Development of undergraduates:  to provide a meaningful experience about teaching and learning that LAs will be able to use in the future.
  • Curriculum and Course Transformation: to improve the quality of math and science education for all undergraduates.
  • Institutional change: to promote faculty transformation of undergraduate courses.

If you are interested in becoming an LA, please click on the link below

Student Learning Assistant Online Application

If you are interested in having an LA in your classroom, please click on the link below.

Faculty Application for Learning Assistants Online Application

LA Program Steering Committee Members:
Dr. Carol Fendrick
Dr. Leigh Anne Harden
Dr. Manu Kaur
Dr. Tiara Perez Morales
Dr. Andrew Wig

For more information, contact:
Dr. Andrew Wig
[email protected]
630-829-6527
Birck 321