Cal Teach Learning Assistant Program

What are Learning Assistants (LAs)?

The Learning Assistants’ main role is to support students’ conceptual understanding in introductory biology, chemistry, and physics active learning classroom at UCSC. Active learning classrooms stress peer discussions and problem solving. L.A.s work with small groups of students as they solve challenging conceptual problems. L.A.s will help students articulate, defend, and modify their ideas about a relevant problem or phenomena presented in class. This might mean asking more questions and giving fewer answers.

This experience will take roughly 8-9 hours per week. Learning Assistants earn 3 units and a $750 scholarship at the end of the quarter. 


What is an LA’s experience?


Practice: L.A.s facilitate collaboration among students in learning teams by formatively assessing student understanding and asking guiding questions;

Content:  L.A.s meet weekly with their faculty instructor, TAs, and other LAs to plan for the upcoming week, reflect on the previous week, and analyze assessment data;

Pedagogy: L.A.s attend PBS 101: Learning Assistant Pedagogy Course to reflect on their own teaching and learning and to make connections to relevant education literature.



What is the Commitment?


-Attend all scheduled class meetings and one class section of individual choice/week

-Enroll in PBS 101 (Tu 11:40-1:15)

-Participate in content meeting once a week (times TBD)



Who is an Ideal candidate?


-Earned an A or B in the course or course equivalent they want to LA for and have solid content knowledge.

-Enjoys working with people.

-Self-confident and able to communicate and work with Professors, TAs, and undergraduates.

-Interested in teaching as a possible career path.

-Open to trying new teaching and learning styles. Preferably has taken an active learning class(es) previously.

-Committed to participating.