Learning Assistants play a critical role in supporting the development and maintenance of a positive learning environment. Therefore it is imperative that faculty-LA teams are built with care. An LA team with an array of identities and experiences provides students with the opportunity to connect with those with similar experiences who have successfully completed the course. It is also beneficial to faculty, as it connects them to individuals with a variety of perspectives that can provide insight into students’ experiences. Below we provide some guidance for how to recruit LAs.
How to build your LA team
- Get to know your students
- Build community in your classroom that allows students to feel comfortable reaching out to you and your LAs
- Ask your current LAs about students that they think would make good LAs
- Apply for the LA Provost Initiative to receive funding to support your LAs
- Invite and Select
- Advertise that you are looking for LAs to the entire class and encourage interested students to reach out to you
- Who to invite:
- Students that are eager to learn
- Students that are active in and outside of class
- Students that have shown signs of improvement (they can support future students who have difficulties)
- Students from a diverse set of cultural backgrounds
- Interview Students (See below for details)
- Follow up with LAs if they completed HR paperwork, enrolled in LA seminar, and if they are available for your weekly planning meeting and course. For more information, please visit the LA Hiring Process page HERE.
Interviewing New LAs
Be sure to meet with students who are interested in working with you as an LA for a brief interview. During this interview, outline the expectations and responsibilities of the LA position including the desired skills, experience, and hours needed to complete their LA work effectively. Below is a list of the general commitments for all LAs.
- LA Seminar
- All new LAs are required to take the LA seminar (SMT 3931) during their first semester as an LA. This seminar covers various aspects of teaching that LAs use to support students.
- Planning Meeting
- Choose a time for weekly planning meetings and ask students to confirm availability for your course and planning meeting.
- LAs are required to prepare for and attend every class session and planning meeting.
- Additional Duties
- Optional outside of class office hours and/or LA-lead review sessions
- Individual LA preparation
The LA Hiring Process
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the LA hiring process. For more information, please visit the LA Hiring Process page HERE.
International LAs follow a slightly different approach to the hiring process. Be sure to direct them to the Office of International Student and Scholar Service to ensure their eligibility to work on campus.