About MSU Denver LA Program
The LA Program supports LAs, faculty and students by transforming courses so that they are more closely aligned with research based instructional strategies. Every LA Program around the globe incorporates the required pedagogy class for new LAs plus a weekly prep session and meeting between LAs and their faculty mentor. This program promotes the creation of effective learning spaces for all students in STEM and other disciplines.
Our program is based on the LA Model developed at CU Boulder. We are proud members of the LA International Alliance- Essential Elements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Av1IH8vSlZQ
Link to Learning Assistance Alliance
“Being an LA this semester and every semester has been an honor and also an awesome learning experience as well. It opened up the doors to get to know and establish a great relationship with some great educated people along the way.”
Learning Assistant Year-End Celebration
Join us in celebrating our Learning Assistants, who are working in over 40 course sections across MSU Denver and the Community College of Denver to facilitate student learning.
In this event, new LAs will share what they learned from the Pedagogy class as well as their unique LA experiences via poster presentations. Faculty will have the opportunity to meet and recruit LAs for their classes.
Graduating LAs will be celebrated at 10:30am and presented with a certificate, cords for their graduation regalia, and a small gift. Any other LAs who attend be eligible for a prize drawing.
Feel free to stop by any time between 9-11am.
When: Friday, December 8th
Where: Science Building Room 1113
Food provided, RSVP required
Spring 2024 Application Deadlines
October 2nd – October 23rd
October 30th – November 13th
November 14th – November 30th
General Pool Hiring
Testimonial from CCD LA
Being an LA this semester and every semester has been an honor and also an awesome learning experience as well. It opened up the doors to get to know and establish a great relationship with some great educated people along the way.
Testimonial from LA
I also wanted to thank you both for your help this semester, your positive emails and messages have sometimes been the highlight of my day.
Testimonial from LA Faculty Mentor
I couldn’t have done the switch to virtual labs without my brilliant LAs.
Testimonials from LA Faculty Mentor
LAs are a presence in the learning process who are there for the students and the students know that.
My LAs transformed me, my classroom, and the way I teach.
I hope we established a learning community where you feel comfortable and supported. There will be times you might feel exhausted, imposter, and stressed, but from what I observed, you are going to continue to grow as students, as mentors, and as an educator. You might not realize it initially, but you are changing the lives of so many students. LAs rock!
Please apply through the Learning Assistant Alliance website.
- Go the website using the link or address above.
- Click on the “Students” tab
- Then select the “MSU Denver” campus link
- Complete the application
LA Requirements: LAs will be paid up to 10 hours a week per LA course. These hours are to minimally include:
- team teaching in the assigned course with your faculty mentor;
- at least one hour a week of consultation with your faculty mentor;
- your attendance in the pedagogy class your first semester as a new LA
- at least one office hour per week; and
- other duties as required by your faculty mentor and/or course leader.
If you would like to apply to be an LA submit an application through the Learning Assistant Alliance website.
HR will be hosting required new student-employee orientations, during which student employees will complete all necessary documentation.
For dates: https://www.msudenver.edu/student-employment/
Prior to 11/1-You will apply here as well to begin the onboarding process:
All new LAs are required to attend all of the class sessions – they are vital to your growth as a group facilitator and LA.
Please enroll in MTL 3850 LA Teaching and Learning-2 credits:
Learning Assistant (LAA) Program Policies
Metropolitan State University Denver and Community College of Denver
After a professor is awarded LAs, and selects you as a great fit, you become part of an instructional team, and a much larger community. Locally, you are supported by this instructional team. If you are a new LA, you are also supported by other LAs in your pedagogy course section, LA mentors, and Returning LAs. The International Learning Assistant Alliance consists of over 500 institutions across 21 countries, so you are connected to an international network. There are many models for how LAs are used in lecture, lab, recitation, help room, work group, office hours, etc., and through this diverse community, we continue to learn new and better ways for instructional teams to work together to support student learning.
In LA-supported courses, LAs facilitate group discussions and encourage interaction and collaboration among students. LAs apply pedagogical principles and are able to connect with students. By sharing their ideas and having their thinking challenged, students develop a deeper understanding of the content. The LA program improves undergraduate education. Research shows that LA-supported courses have better learning outcomes than comparison classes and have better retention in those classes, especially for students traditionally under- served by STEM disciplines (Pollock, 2009; Otero, 2015; Alzen, Langdon, Otero, 2018; Van Dusen & Nissen, 2020).
There are three essential aspects to the LA Experience for which LAs receive a fellowship:
LA-Student Interactions (LA Practice): LAs are expected to treat all students with kindness and respect, and promote a safe, inclusive, learning environment. You will lead and facilitate discussions of small groups of students, requiring you to identify students’ ideas through listening and/or observing their written work, use good questioning skills, and work to involve all students in meaningful group work. Expectations of LAs:
LAs attend all sections and meeting times assigned to them. If unable to attend a class time (in person), due to health or other emergencies, you should contact your Lead Faculty.
LAs respond to all contact from Lead Faculty and Program Coordinators within 24 hours. Prompt and professional communication is essential for your success in this fellowship.
LAs usually spend at least 30 minutes/week individually preparing for their student interactions.
LAs are expected to follow and enforce all campus policies related to health and safety.
Weekly Preparation Meetings with Lead Faculty: You and your fellow LAs will meet with a department faculty member (usually the Lead Instructor) to prepare for the upcoming week, reflect on the previous week, and sometimes analyze assessment data from previous terms.
Expectations of LAs:
These meetings should occur at least weekly for at least 30 minutes, but more typically 60-90 minutes.
LA Pedagogy Course (New LAs only): You will learn and practice evidence-based techniques for supporting and enhancing student learning, in a community designed to support you in your LA-student interactions.
The LA Pedagogy Course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.
|OVERALL, LAs should expect to spend 8 – 10 hours/week (on average) on all paid LA fellowship responsibilities, including weekly preparation meetings, individual content preparation, and LA-Student Interactions.
LAA reports that LAs learn the content better, become better learners, and develop leadership skills. They also have the unique opportunity to develop close relationships with like minded students and with instructors at their institution. Most LAs put their LA experience on their résumés, since it points to their abilities to teach, to manage, to lead, and to learn. Most LAs report that they learn much from the LA experience, especially by tying their evolving understanding to particular principles addressed in the pedagogy course. During the Spring 2020 transition to remote learning, LAs surveyed reported a high sense of belonging, and LA Program communities, and increased motivation due to their work as LAs, which translated to their roles as students, as well.
Alzen, J. Langdon, L., & Otero, V. (2018). A logistic investigation of the relationship between the learning assistant model and failure rates in introductory STEM courses, International Journal of STEM Education, 5 (56), https://doi.org/10.1186/s40594-018-0152-1.
Gray, K., Webb, D., & Otero, V. (2016). Effects of the Learning Assistant Model on Teacher Practice, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 12, 020126.
Otero, V. (2015). Nationally scaled model for leveraging course transformation with physics teacher preparation, To be published in Effective Practices in Preservice Physics Teacher Education: Recruitment, Retention, and Preparation, edited by E. Brewe and C. Sandifer.
Pollock, S. (2009). Longitudinal study of student conceptual understanding in electricity and magnetism, PhysRev: Phys Ed. Rsrch 5, 020110, 1-8.
Van Dusen, B. and Nissen, J. (2020). Associations between learning assistants, passing introductory physics, and equity: A quantitative critical race theory investigation, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 16, 010117 – Published 9 April 2020
Publish Date: March 31, 2022
Our program follows the LA Model developed at CU Boulder. We are a member of the LA International Alliance.
- Team teaching: LAs work with their Lead Faculty to transform courses by creating environments in which students can interact with one another, and engage in collaborative problem solving.
- Content/Weekly Faculty Meetings: LAs meet weekly with the instructor to discuss upcoming activities and how the
LA will be involved in the classroom.
- Pedagogy Class: LAs take a 2-credit pedagogy course on interactive teaching techniques the first semester that
- LAs hold Office Hours
As a member of the LA Alliance, you have access to the following resources:
- LA Campus for hiring and interviewing your LAs
- Implementation and LA Campus Guide
- eLearning Tools
- Conferences and research literature
- Course Assessments
- Create a faculty account first at the Learning Assistance Alliance Website here.
- After creating an account, complete a Course Proposal through LA Campus.
- In LA Campus, view your LA applicants, interview and send your LA an Offer by the deadline
The faculty course proposal has five (5) sections that must be completed in order for the proposal to be submitted. Upon clicking the Submit to Dept/Submit to Program button, a validation check is carried out.
Starting a New Faculty Course Proposal (FCP)
- Log in to https://www.learningassistantalliance.org.
- Click on LA Campus in the primary menu at the top of the page.
- Click on the Course Proposals menu item in the secondary menu on the left hand side of the page. This will expand a new panel below and show a list of proposals you have access to as well as an option to start a new course proposal.
- Click on the Start Course Proposal link in the secondary menu under the Course Proposals panel. This will open the Create Course Proposal
- If you do not see the Start Course Proposal link in the secondary menu, you may not have access to start a new course proposal. The course proposal acceptance period must be open to start a new proposal, or you must be given access by your program coordinator (PC) to start an FCP after the deadline.
- On the Create Course Proposal page you have two (2) options for creating a course proposal.
- Option 1: Create new proposal – Creating a new proposal will start a new faculty course proposal for the application term.
- Select the Create new proposal.
- Click on the Start Course Proposal button at the bottom of the options.
- Option 1: Create new proposal – Creating a new proposal will start a new faculty course proposal for the application term.
- Note: The FCP will be attached to the department of the original author/creator. This is important to keep in mind as to which departmental coordinator (DC) it will be submitted to.
- Option 2: Use existing proposal to get started – The using an existing proposal will provide you a list of proposals that you have access to across all terms within the system. If you have no other proposals, you will not be able to use this option. If you need to duplicate a proposal from a past term for a course you are now teaching, please contact your department coordinator (DC) or program coordinator (PC) and they can duplicate the course and add you as a faculty member on the proposal.
- Select the Use existing proposal to get started.
- Select the Department that the course proposal you want to use was created in.
- Select the Course that you want to duplicate. This will present a list of all prior versions of the proposal that have been created for the selected course.
- Select the specific course proposal that you want to use. A view only version of the proposal will be shown to assist you in the selection process.
- Click on the Duplicate Course Proposal button at the bottom of the list of course proposals.
- NOTE: A duplicated FCP will be be attached to the department of the original FCP, and not the author/creator doing the duplication. This feature is intended for use by PCs to duplicate FCPs for new faculty teaching LA using courses.
- Once you are on the Faculty Course Proposal page you will need to add a course to the proposal, if one does not already exist, and save it. This new proposal will not exist within the system until you have done an initial save. The Save link can be located on the action bar in the bottom left the the FCP.
of MSU Denver LA Program