Learning Assistants


Learning Assistant (LA) Program

A group of LAs and LA mentors at the Spring 2018 CSME Banquet.

What are learning assistants (LAs)?

Learning assistants are undergraduates who help facilitate active learning in science courses! 

What is the commitment? 

  • Assist in facilitating active learning in a science course that you have taken previously
  • Attend weekly planning meetings with your LA mentor (the course lecturer)
  • Participate in pedagogy meetings one hour per week, where you learn fundamentals of teaching science 

What are the benefits of being an LA? 

  • Earn independent study credits
  • Review material from science classes you’ve taken in a unique and fun way
  • Support other students in science classes 

Previous LAs say: 

  • "I think it’s just a good program for any science major, just a good experience.”
  • “I definitely see my professor as more of a mentor now”
  • “I like this style of learning because in physics that’s how you learn… you have to work problems”
  • “Between being a learning assistant and a student I think it’s helped ME a lot, just like reading, you know, these teaching methods and stuff, it just helped me see where I am and it does help with certain behaviors we see in class.”

Previous LA mentors say:

  • ”For the longer or more challenging activities… more students were able to get further”
  • “[LAs] can provide faculty very useful insights on what students are struggling with, both in the classroom and in their everyday lives”

Subjects you can be an LA for through CSME:

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Astronomy 

If you want to participate, either as an LA or LA mentor, please contact the program director, Prof. Kim Coble: kcoble_at_sfsu.edu

To learn more about LA programs around the country, visit the Learning Assistant Alliance