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Learning Assistant Program

The Learning Assistant Program supports undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students as learning assistants in large gateway science courses taught in active learning classrooms. Learning assistants receive a stipend and/or scholarship each semester and new students also enroll in a 1-unit graduate-level seminar introducing them to STEM pedagogy.

  

How To Apply:

  • Faculty members who wish to have LAs in their course should contact LAMP Director Rachel Watson at rwatson@uwyo.edu and be ready to:

    • Demonstrate or explain how they have/will transform their class to be active-learning oriented.

    • Encourage students they think would be good LAs to apply to the program.

   

 

Learning Assistant Program FAQ

 

What kinds of students should apply? Do they need to have certain majors/minors?

  • Secondary Science Post-Baccalaureate students interested in gaining undergraduate mentoring experiences in active-based courses.

  • Undergraduates passionate about teaching and learning and furthering the education of their peers.

  • Students from all majors are welcome and encouraged to apply, especially if interested in mentoring or education.  

  • Most LA positions will be in STEM fields.

  • Students should not be discouraged if they feel they are not an "expert" yet.  LAs should be mostly comfortable with content but will naturally deepen their own understanding through mentoring and teaching experiences.

 

How is being an LA different than a TA and why would you want to do it?

  • A Learning Assistant, or LA, is a peer mentor in the classroom supporting active-based instruction, rather than a teaching assistant (TA) whom may, for example, grade, teach labs and/or lead discussion sections.

  • LAs facilitate group discussions in large active learning classrooms.  They are often viewed as less intimidating than TAs, supporting peer interactions and collaborations.

  • LAs may support course assessments, but focus on supporting teamwork and student understanding of the material.

  • LA responsibilities may vary depending on the course being supported; this is associated with differences in instructor teaching practices.

 

What is the approximate time commitment per week?

  • LAs must attend and participate in every class for the section assigned (~3 hours per week)

  • LAs must attend weekly preparation meetings with their faculty mentors (~1 hour per week)

  • New LAs must enroll in a 1-credit hour graduate-level seminar introducing LAs to STEM pedagogy (~1 hour per week)

  • LAs spend time providing student feedback and preparing for class activities. This time commitment varies based on student comfort and experience (~1-5 hours per week)

 

For further questions or concerns, please contact LAMP Director Rachel Watson (rwatson@uwyo.edu).

 

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