Learning Assistants (LAs) are motivated undergraduate students who assist instructors and students in the teaching-learning enterprise. LAs are assigned to a particular course, and they work closely with instructors to provide challenging and meaningful learning experiences for enrolled students.
To be hired as an LA:
- Be familiar with the course (preferably taught by a particular instructor)
- Receive an A or A- in the assigned course
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher
- Have availability in your schedule during the class meeting time for the assigned course
LAs and their supervising instructors will meet at the beginning of each semester to sign an LA Instructor Agreement. This agreement will outline the responsibilities of both the LA and the Instructor. Mandatory responsibilities for all LAs includes:
- Meet with the instructor in and outside of class, as determined by the instructor
- Communicate effectively with supervising instructor, any additional teaching staff, and enrolled students
- Prepare for specific teaching- and learning-related assignments
Additional responsibilities could include:
- Explain course concepts to individual students or groups
- Help with in-class activities, group projects, specialized software, or virtual labs
- Provide feedback on writing and other assignments
- Grading (assuming a rubric)
- Out-of-class tutoring
- Troubleshoot course technologies
- Other learning-focused responsibilities
All new LAs are required to participate in training in their first semester as an LA, including New LA Orientation and the one-credit training course for LAs, IST 389: Leadership and Technology for Instruction.
New LA Orientation occurs the Sunday immediately before classes begin, usually from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. This virtual meeting offers just-in-time training to get you started in your first week as an LA, as well as tips from experienced LAs.
During the first semester of employment, you will be enrolled in IST 389 for one credit. The course meets once a week for 75 minutes for the first seven weeks of the semester. A college administrative assistant will enroll you in one of the sections after you have been officially hired.
The Fall 2022 sections of IST 389 are:
- Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.
- Thursdays from 4:35 – 5:50 p.m.
- Start date is Friday before classes begin. (LAs may work with instructors online prior to classes.)
- End date is the last day of Finals Week—or whatever earlier date the instructor sets (make end-of-semester travel plans accordingly).
LA positions are paid by the College of IST. The rate of compensation is $13/hr for first-semester LAs and $14/hr for each semester after the first.
LA applicants who are hired and assigned to a faculty member must complete the PSU job application in addition to the application (link at the top of the page) that indicates interest. The link to the PSU jobs application will be sent to your PSU email account if you are hired as an LA.
There are two types of applications: “general pool” and “matched with verbal agreement from instructor.”
- Matched: Faculty member and student establish mutual verbal agreement that they would like to work together; student submits “matched” application
- General Pool: Student submits application without being matched; College places qualified student where needed
With either type of application, no jobs are guaranteed until Notification of Offer email messages are made to the student (typically two weeks prior to the start of the semester). In general, matched applications are more likely to yield an offer.