Learning Assistant Program
LA Program Overview
This innovative new program engages undergraduates in classroom teaching and learning while helping them develop their teaching, leadership, and interpersonal skills.
The RU LA program is a partnership between the Rutgers Learning Centers (RLC), the Math and Science Learning Center (MSLC), and several science and engineering departments. The program is modeled after a similar program developed at the University of Colorado. Other institutions with learning assistant programs are listed on the Learning Assistant Alliance webpage.
Learning assistants assist in the classroom in several ways, including facilitating discussions and workshops during lectures, team teaching recitation or laboratory sections with a graduate teaching assistant, or independently leading supplemental study groups. View a list of our partnering courses since the 2011-2012 academic year.
During their first semester, LAs are assigned to 80 minutes of contact time with students, co-enroll in a 3-credit, 300-level pedagogy course (Peer Instruction Education), attend weekly staff meetings led by the faculty teaching the course, and participate in professional development workshops offered by the RLCs. Each following semester that they participate, LAs are assigned to 160 minutes of contact time with students and continue to attend staff meetings and professional development programs.
Learning assistants are paid a stipend of $1,500 each semester they participate in the LA Program.
Join the LA Program listserv to receive program updates (including application processes and deadlines).
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning assistants participate in on-going professional development throughout their participation in the LA Program.
- LAs attend weekly staff meetings with faculty, course instructors, and TAs in their assigned course
- LAs participate in peer leader trainings through the Learning Centers
- During their first semester in the program, LAs must co-enroll in a 3-credit, 300-level pedagogy course (Peer Instruction Education, 01:090:322)
- In the pedagogy course, LAs are trained to facilitate learning and engage students in scientific discourse, rather than act as experts who have knowledge that needs to be transmitted to the student. Course topics include learning theory, cooperative learning, questioning techniques, and activity design.
- Every semester in the program, LAs are observed in their lecture, recitation, or study group assignment as part of their formal job evaluation.
Meet Current and Previous LAs
If you are currently a learning assistant (or if you were a learning assistant in the past), please provide us with your current contact information so that we can maintain our alumni database records. (Note: the password to complete the contact info survey is laprogram)
If you are interested in the LA Program, request a meeting (individual or with colleagues) with Dr. Mary Emenike, Director of STEM Support Programs, to discuss potential opportunities and strategies for partnering with the LA Program and utilizing learning assistants in your course to help facilities active and collaborative learning.
Applying for the learning assistant program has been the best decision I have made thus far at Rutgers University. My experience with the LA program has been enlightening and enjoyable every step of the way. It has opened up many opportunities for me outside of Rutgers University including an upcoming internship with Lockheed Martin, where I spoke about the LA program for essentially my entire interview. There is no replacement for the friendships I have made throughout the last two years through the LA program with students and staff and I would strongly recommend getting involved with the LA program.
BS Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Mathematics Minor, Aerospace Concentration (Anticipated 2015)
Lead learning assistant for physics (01:750:123 & 124) and statics (14:440:221), 2012-2014