General Info About Being An LA
The Learning Assistant program welcomes you to the LA experience. We aim to provide you with the greatest teaching experience that we can offer. In this page, we will summarize for you what the LA duties and responsibilities are, and the benefits of being an important part of this learning community.
Roles and Responsibilities
Learning Assistants (LAs) help transform courses by creating positive learning environments that encourage students to interact with one another by engaging in collaborative problem-solving activities. LAs will use questioning skills and involve all students in meaningful teamwork for greater learning outcomes. Even though the LA experience will be different for each discipline and course, the LA experience consists of similar goals regardless of the course you are LA-ing for. In addition to supporting student learning in your course, LAs also:
- Participate in LA Seminar (SMT 3931): New LAs are required to take a 1-credit, 2-hour course during the first semester they serve as LAs. This course helps LAs gain a deeper understanding of teaching and learning guided by evidence-based STEM education research.
- Attend required weekly meetings with the lead course instructor: In these meetings, the faculty and the LAs plan for the upcoming week, prepare for supporting students engagement with class activities, exchange feedback, and reflect on the previous week.
- Individual preparation: LAs review concepts and activities prior to the planning meeting with the faculty and in preparation for the upcoming week. LAs do so on their own and are ready to bring questions and ideas to the planning meeting.
Benefits of Being an LA
The LA program is dedicated to creating a meaningful experience for our LAs and students. Here are some benefits that LAs gain through their experience in the program:
- Interacting with many different types of personalities and a diverse student body
- Help with career goals and professional development
- Build relationships with FIU faculty that can lead to research and internship opportunities, and strong recommendation letters for the future
- Development of leadership skills, gain new communication skills, and public speaking
- Improved content knowledge and provide you with mastery of the subject that can help with standardized entrance exams such as the MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, and GRE just to name a few
- Strengthen awareness of resources available in the FIU community
- Build confidence in your ability to make a difference in the learning community