“Being an LA is such a gratifying and eye-opening experience. In addition to all the techniques and tools you will learn in the pedagogy seminar, there are a lot of things you learn “on the job” from interacting with students. For me, these students have taught me just as much as I have taught them. ”

“All in all I will say that you are in for a truly rewarding experience. This program will teach you the fundamentals of learning, how we actually engrave things in our memory, and why a positive and energetic environment in which students actively participate is key to a successful education.”

“I have learned so much that has helped me not only improve my teaching skills, but also improve pertinent life skills such as public speaking and critical thinking…This program has also deeply strengthened my interests in a teaching career in the future.”

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Learning Assistant Information

Benefits of the Learning Assistant (LA) Program

How Do LAs Benefit?

  1. LAs learn evidence-based teaching techniques in a weekly pedagogy seminar to help other students learn more effectively. LAs increase their course content knowledge, along with their communication and interpersonal skills.
  2. LAs receive upper-division 192 units for their work in the program and can receive this credit up to 4 times. This counts towards your UCLA upper-division GPA and upper-division unit requirement.
  3. Returning LAs are able to apply for Logistical Head LA positions (a paid position) as well as Pedagogy Head LA Positions.

How Do Students Benefit?

  1. In LA-supported courses, students get extra help in lecture and discussion, extremely fast responses to questions posted on the discussion forum, and additional office hours each week. LAs also help students engage in discussion to increase student critical reasoning and facilitate student group collaboration. Moreover, the LAs are often seen as more accessible and approachable.
  2. A recent PLOS article found that peer-led team learning (i.e. having peers facilitate group problem-solving in a manner similar to that of LAs) helps under-represented minority students succeed in STEM classes.

To learn more about how the LA program has been benefiting the LAs and students on the UCLA campus, refer to this summary of the LA program’s progress.

What do we ask of Learning Assistants?

  • New LA Pedagogy Seminar

    1 credit Pedagogy Seminar taught by Dr. Shaked, and the LA Program Instructional Team. (1 hour seminar + 2 hr/wk reading and time to write weekly reflections and work on course projects)

  • Content Meeting

    LAs meet weekly with their Content Course Instructor and Content Course TAs to discuss the material being covered in Discussion and/or Lab sections for that week.

  • Lecture, Lab and/or Discussion Section

    LAs spend 2-6 hours facilitating collaborative learning in Lecture, Lab and/or Discussion Sections.

  • Office Hours or Discussion Forum

    LAs spend 1-3 hours a week supporting students with Review Sessions or answering questions on course discussion forums (i.e. Piazza or CampusWire). LAs can also support TAs during TA Office Hours.

  • LA Quarter-Long Project

    All Learning Assistants spend 1-2 hours per week completing a quarter-long project to reflect on their growth as an educator and student throughout the quarter.

The program consists of the following weekly commitments:

  • 1 credit pedagogy seminar co-taught by Dr. Shaked, Dr. Tienson-Tseng, and/or other STEM faculty (1 hour seminar + 2 hr/wk reading and time to write weekly reflections and work on course projects)
  • 1-2 hours weekly meeting with instructor(s) and TAs to go over content and likely misconceptions for following week
  •  2-6 hours of the following: attend lecture, lab and/or discussion sections to foster collaborative learning
  •  1-3 office hours with TAs
  •  1-2 hours of other tasks (e.g. looking ahead at lectures or homework; responding to questions on discussion board)

New LAs are asked to commit at least 9 hr/wk (for 3 units) and ideally 12 hr/wk (for 4 units).

In the pedagogy seminar, we will go over the theory of learning and strategies that will help increase student learning. This includes weekly readings, reflections, and projects that LAs spend an average of 2 hr/wk on. The seminar includes LAs from across the sciences, math and computer science.

Here is a detailed table of weekly expectations for each type of LA.

For more information, check out the Pedagogy Seminar Syllabus.

Interested in being an LA?

See the buttons at the top for the current state of applications.

Please note that all new LAs must be able to attend the Pedagogy Seminar on Tuesdays from 4-5pm (mandatory requirement for all new LAs)

As a campus with a continually growing diverse student body, we encourage applications from individuals with a commitment to mentoring under-represented demographics in the sciences.

*Please note that this old timeline is for your reference. Fall 2018 will follow a different timeline due to the summer break.

General LA Program Application Timeline

Weeks before quarter Head LA Applicants New + Returning LA Applicants
6 weeks (e.g. Wk 5 of preceding quarter) Applications open
4-5 weeks (e.g. Wk 7) Logistical Head LAs selected
2-3 weeks (e.g. Wk 10) Head LA Orientation LA acceptances sent out
Wk 10 Tues. 4:30-5:30pm New LA Orientation for following quarter

Click here to see a list of on- and off-campus opportunities, for credit and paid, while a student and for recent grads!

Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions:

The courses participating in the LA program varies each quarter, but so far we have had LAs helping in the following courses:

  • Chemical Engineering 101A/101B
  • Chemistry 14A/14B/14C/14D and 14BL
  • Chemistry 20A/B, 30A/B/C
  • Chemistry 153A & 153L
  • Computer Science 30/31/32/33/35L
  • Math 31A/B, 32A, 33A/B
  • MCDB 60
  • Physics 1A/1B/1C
  • Physics 5A/5B/5C
  • Physics 4AL/4BL
  • Physics 5BL/5CL
  • Life Sciences 7A/7B/7C
  • Life Sciences 23L
  • Life Sciences 30 A/B
  • Life Sciences 40
  • PIC 16A
  • Psychology 10, 116 A/B
  • Statistics 20
  • Statistics 100 A/B/C

The LA program focuses on benefiting South Campus undergraduates and supporting faculty teaching large introductory science, math & engineering courses.

Yes! You can LA for more than one class in a quarter if you choose. However, this is not recommended.

Unfortunately, no. The pedagogy seminar teaches LAs evidence-based teaching practices that are essential to facilitating active learning in the classroom. The LA program and pedagogy seminar are ongoing, so you can always apply to be an LA another quarter. Pedagogy Seminar is Tuesdays 3:30-4:45PM and we aim to keep this time consistent every quarter so that you can plan accordingly!

Yes, the Instructors page includes information about the LA program that you can share with them.

Click here to see a list of on- and off-campus opportunities, for credit and paid, while a student and for recent grads!