Application Information for Chemistry Learning Assistants
Learning Assistants are peer mentors that facilitate collaborative active learning exercises, both during class and during problem- solving sessions outside of class. Chemistry classes that benefit from the talents of LAs include PSU 016, CHEM 108, 110, 110B, 110Web, 110H, 112, 113 FC, 130, 202, 203, 210, 212, 227, and 310. In order to serve as an LA in any class you must have previously taken that class and been successful. Details about the expectations of an LA and the rewards of serving as an LA are listed below. If you have any questions about the role of an LA, or about the application process, please contact Dr. Lori Stepan at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by Whitmore 220D.
PSU 016 Fall 2021 Application
- If you want to be an LA for PSU 016, please register here.
CHEM 108/110/130 Fall 2021 Application
- If you want to be an LA for Chem 108, any version of Chem 110, or Chem 130 please register here.
CHEM 112 Fall 2021 Application
- If you want to be an LA for Chem 112 please register here.
Advanced Chemistry Fall 2021 Application
- If you want to be an LA for Chem 202, Chem 203, Chem 210, Chem 212, Chem 213W, Chem 227, or Chem 310 please register here.
As a learning assistant (LA) you would be expected to do the following:
- Work with the instructor in a course, and attend all class sessions as an LA.
- Be registered for 1 credit of SC 240. The instructor you work with will award your grade in this course.
- Interact with and guide students during active-learning exercises.
- Help promote deeper learning by asking students questions and prompting discussions (not just providing answers).
- Facilitate weekly problem-solving sessions outside of class.
- Participate in a weekly team meeting with the instructor, LAs and TAs to discuss upcoming topics and materials, give feedback, and talk about problems or concerns.
- Register for and complete a 1-credit science pedagogy course (SC 220) during your first semester of LA work. This course provides LAs with best practices on the art and science of teaching and learning, information on their role on the educational team, ways to influence classroom climate, and methods on how to facilitate group work. The course meets once per week for the first half of the semester, and then again for a wrap-up meeting at the end of the semester. If you have previously taken this course as an LA you are not required to repeat it.
The benefits of acting as an LA include the following:
- Make a positive difference in the classroom climate.
- Facilitate the learning of students in the class.
- Get to know and work with faculty, graduate students, and other peer mentors, all of whom support your continued growth as a science professional.
- Professional development in leadership, teaching, and problem solving.
- Receive training in science pedagogy and group facilitation.
- Strengthen knowledge of science topics and skills.
- Prepare for entrance exams, graduate school, medical school, or a career.
- Receive 1 course credit for taking the pedagogy course, and 1 course credit for your work as an LA both in and out of the classroom.