Are you an undergraduate interested in teaching and education research? Below are some frequently asked questions about what it means to be a learning assistant (LA). If you're interested in applying, click the application icon in the sidebar to get started!


 Q: What is a learning assistant (LA), and how is it different from being a teaching assistant (TA)?

A: LAs are high performing students who have previously completed the course which they are helping to teach. Unlike typical undergraduate teaching assistants, whose involvement might be limited to passing out materials or setting up the classroom or laboratory, LAs are actively involved in teaching, alongside faculty or graduate teaching fellows.

Q: What does an LA do?

A: LAs work about 10 hours a week to aid faculty in teaching. Part of that work involves weekly meetings with lead faculty and other LAs. In the classroom, LAs can lead activities, facilitate small group discussions, give demonstrations, and provide students with explanations. While they are supervised by faculty, they are given the independence to develop their own teaching styles. LAs are also given an opportunity to learn about education research through small research projects that use their actual experiences to reflect upon teaching practices. 

Q: Does becoming an LA require special training?

A: Usually to become an LA you must first successfully complete the course you are helping to teach. LAs learn about pedagogy, the methods of teaching, in a 2-credit course. In this course, new LAs read and discuss relevant education pedagogy, reflect on and share their experiences in the classroom, and learn about specific discipline-based techniques they can implement.

Q: What are the benefits of being an LA?

A: The secondary benefits vary depending on the department but all LAs receive valuable teaching experience and mentorship from teaching faculty. LAs also complete research projects that may count toward their experiences toward undergraduate research which allows them to add a special designation to their transcript. Some LAs are paid, depending on the department.

Q: Which courses can I work in as an LA?

A: LA-assisted courses are available in the following departments and programs. This list is always changing and growing, so we recommend that you check back or check in with your professors quarterly if you're interested in a specific course. 

 

Biochemistry and Biophysics

BB 450: General Biochemistry

 

Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering

CBEE 102: Problem Solving and Computations

CBEE 211: Material Balances

CBEE 212: Energy Balances

CBEE 213: Process Data Analysis

CHE 311: Thermo

CHE 312: Thermodynamics

CHE 361: Process Dynamics

 

Chemistry

CH 12X: General Chemistry Series

 

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

CS 161: Intro to CS I

CS 162: Intro to CS II

CS 160 : CS Orientation

CS 160H: Honors CS Orientation

CS 161: Intro to CS

CS 162: Intro to CS

ECE 112: Intro to ECE

ECE 111: Introduction to ECE: Tools

ECE 272: Digital Logic Design Laboratory

 

Engineering (General)

ENGR 111 : Engineering Orientation

ENGR 199 : Engineering Special Topics

ENGR 201 : Electrical Fundamentals 1

 

Integrative Biology

BI 211H: Honors Principles of Biology

BI 212: Principles of Biology

BI 212H: Principles of Biology

BI 213: Principles of Biology

BI 213H: Principles of Biology

BI 231: Intro. Anatomy & Physiology

BI 232: Intro. Anatomy & Physiology

BI 233: Intro. Anatomy & Physiology

BI 331: Adv. Anatomy and Physiology

BI 332: Adv. Anatomy and Physiology

BI 333: Adv. Anatomy and Physiology

Z 371: Vertebrate Biology

Z 427/527: Paleobiology

 

Mathematics

MTH 103: Algebraic Reasoning

MTH  111: College Algebra

MTH 112: Elementary Functions

 

Mechanical Engineering

ENGR 112: Engineering Computing

MIME 101: Introduction to MIME

 

Physics

PH 201: Physics

PH 202: General Physics

PH 203: General Physics

 

Statistics

ST 351: Introduction to Statistical Methods

ST 352: Introduction to Statistical Methods