Sacramento State’s Learning Assistant (LA) program is based on University of Colorado-Boulder’s internationally renowned program. Our goal is to turn STEM students on to the excitement of teaching, which will increase the desperately short supply of highly qualified K-12 science teachers. The learning assistant role is to facilitate discussion, helping to transform the instructor-centered environment typical of large-enrollment classes into a more interactive, collaborative, and engaging one. LAs receive training directly from the class instructor, and also participate in a weekly pedagogy course.
In Spring 2014 the program will include biology, geography, and physics students who want to explore a career in K-12 STEM teaching.
The Spring 2014 mandatory pedagogy course will meet on Fridays from 1-2:50 pm. Students interested in working in high school classrooms are also welcome to apply and may earn upper division units and are also welcome to apply to the program.
Ready to become a Spring 2014 Learning Assistant? Fill out an application . Students who apply by Friday December 20 will receive priority.
In Fall 2012, Spring 2013, and Fall 2013 the program was expanded to include biology students who wanted to explore a career in K-12 STEM teaching. LA programs ran in PHYS 11A and BIO 2 (Cells, Molecules, Genes). The pedagogy course met on Fridays from 1-2:50 pm.In Fall 2011 five LAs worked with about 80 students enrolled in an Introduction to Astrobiology (ASTR 4C) class. Students and LAs worked collaboratively on projects that were presented during our end of semester celebration.
In Spring 2012 we expanded the program to two classes: Physics in Our World (PHYS 10) and Introduction to Astronomy (ASTR 4B). Funds from the CSU Math and Science Teacher Initiative (MSTI, http://www.calstate.edu/teachered/msti) are being used to support 8 LAs.
The program was a smashing success and both LAs and students loved the experience! Here are the LA answers as to whether they would like to repeat the experience:
The entire Fall 2011 experience is documented in detail (with pictures and links to the projects) here: http://webpages.csus.edu/~vemargon/LA/