Learning Assistant Program
Student applications will open for fall semester: 4/19/21-5/14/21
LAs are paid for up to 10 hours a week and $14.77 starting January 1st, 2021.
LAs work 10 hours a week per section. This is being communicated to LAs and their supervising faculty in advance of hiring.
If applying to a specific course, the instructor must complete their faculty course proposal first.
Please apply through the Learning Assistant Alliance website.
1) Go the website using the link or address above.
2) Click on the Students tab
3) Then select the MSU Denver campus link
4) Complete the application
The Learning Assistant Program at MSU Denver was launched at MSU in the Fall of 2015.
LA Requirements: LAs will be paid up to 10 a week. 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 (optional); and
- other duties as required by your faculty mentor and/or course leader.
If you would like to be an LA submit an application through the Learning Assistant Alliance website.
We will be in contact with you through email regarding next steps and placements. Thank you for considering being a Learning Assistant. Our students and faculty make the Learning Assistant Program great!
Information for Students Interested in the Learning Assistant (LA) Program
**Learning Assistant Application for Spring 2020**
Interested in becoming a Learning Assistant - the application is now open!
Apply through the Learning Assistant Alliance website.
- Go to Learning Assistant Alliance website: https://www.learningassistantalliance.org/ or https://learningassistantalliance.org/modules/account/create/ca2_b1.php
- Select the Students tab
- Select the MSU Denver campus link
- Complete your application
Thank you for your application! We will be in contact with you regarding next steps and placements.
Applications for Learning Assistant positions are opened prior to each semester. Watch for flyers and informational emails, or check back here for the application link.
What is the Learning Assistant (LA) Program?
The program offers high performing students, with a love for STEM, an opportunity to learn about education, explore teaching, support course reform of lecture based courses and improve student learning.
- LAs should facilitate small group discussion around challenging questions.
- Whether in a large lecture hall, a small recitation, or an online forum, LAs encourage students to share their ideas and reasoning and guide them toward thinking more deeply.
- LAs also learn about student successes and challenges and provide critical feedback to the instructor regarding student learning in the course.
- Using LAs requires contexts in which LAs can facilitate student learning
- LAs interact with students by facilitating discussions about different types of tasks and problems within the discipline.
- LAs focus mainly on eliciting student thinking and helping each student participate in developing a shared understanding.
- LAs must view their role as learning facilitators, interacting with students not simply confirming answers or giving the “right answer.”
- Over 60% of the LA’s time should be with groups of students facilitating group learning rather than with individual students.
V. Otero, S. Pollock, and N. Finkelstein, Am. J. Phys., 78, 11 (2010).
Requirements for being a Learning Assistant:
- GPA of 2.5
- Good attendance record
- Motivated and committed to academic success
- Love of STEM
- Attend a 2-credit STEM Teaching and Learning Pedagogy course (first semester as an LA)
- Recommendation from faculty
The role of a Learning Assistant:
Team teaching and practice is the basic structure of the Learning Assistant program. The way this looks in a classroom will be based on the judgment of your faculty member. Our recommendation is that the LA is to work through the problems before meetings and classes, speak with the faculty mentor about the important aspects of the problem/class session, then begin the semester by observing the interactions for the first class period. Again, these are recommendations and LA involvement will always be up to the faculty mentor.
The LA and faculty mentor are to set up a time to speak before classes start for the semester. The two of you need to set up a weekly time to meet, speak about classroom expectations and norms, go over the problems what will be done the first week of classes (you should work on these on your own so you can come to your meeting with the faculty with questions and observations) and clearly establish your role for the first few classes. Come ready to talk about the class facilitation and any questions you have. Your faculty mentor will give you guidance on what is important about the problems and what role you should play in the classroom.
Participation in the pedagogy course will help prepare you for interactions with students and your faculty mentor.
What are the requirements for a Learning Assistant?
As a Learning Assistant you will be paid up to 10 hours a week per course. These hours are to minimally include the following activities:
- Attendance at the pre-semester orientation, which is usually the Friday before the start of classes
- Team teaching in the assigned course with a faculty mentors direction
- At least one hour meeting a week of consultation with your faculty mentor
- Attendance in the pedagogy course for newly assigned Learning Assistants
- Optional, but strongly suggested, at least one office hour per week to support classmates
- Other duties as required by your faculty mentor and/or course leader. This may include such things as carefully write up the problems for the coming week and generating questions to ask the student groups as they work, give feedback on assignments, meet with students who may need extra help, assist with lesson plans, etc.
Additional information about the Learning Assistant program is available at the Learning Assistant Alliance website: https://learningassistantalliance.org/