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Learning Assistants

What is a Learning Assistant?

The Learning Assistants Program supports faculty and students by transforming courses so that they are more closely aligned with research-based instructional strategies. The Learning Assistants (LAs) assist the faculty in creating a learner-centered environment by supporting faculty in the classroom, facilitating student discussions and understanding in both the classroom and in out-of-class sessions, and provide feedback to the faculty on the student experience. The LA program emphasizes “best practices” and provides diverse student support which are helpful for students at any level. An LA program is similar to the existing Supplemental Instruction and Peer Lab programs, and LAs get sustained professional development in effective pedagogies while working with their faculty instructors. The pedagogy course has been highlighted by students and faculty at CSUSB as one of the most important aspects contributing to student and LA success.

What do Learning Assistants do?

  • Work directly with students, helping make courses more student-centered using interactive techniques
    • This includes attending and assisting during scheduled class time. 
    • LAs also hold their own sessions for students outside of class time. Specifics on the amount of time, timing of sessions, and content of the sessions are course specific and can be found in the application or will be negotiated directly with the instructor. 
  • Take a 2-unit pedagogy course on interactive teaching techniques and education research.
    • This course is generally scheduled based on LAs availabilities.
  • Meet weekly with the course instructor to discuss common student difficulties and upcoming activities. This is to be scheduled between you and the instructor.

What do Learning Assistants get?

  • Paycheck! LAs are paid 10 hours/week for the academic term (~16 weeks). Current hourly rate is a minimum of $16/hr.
    • LAs can opt to earn course credit in lieu of a paycheck
  • Pedagogical content knowledge
    • Learning how people learn both to help your students, but also to better understand your own learning
  • Increased course content knowledge
    • LAs generally better understand the course content after serving as an LA than before. Teaching is learning!
  • Faculty mentorship through weekly faculty meetings
  • An experiential learning program
    • Learning how to teach within the context of an actual teaching experience. Great for those interested in teaching or planning to go to graduate school.

Who are selected to serve as Learning Assistants?

  • Undergraduate students
  • Recently completed the course they are being hired to support
  • Not necessarily majoring in that discipline (i.e. a physics Learning Assistant can be a biology major, or a math Learning Assistant can be a Liberal Studies major)
  • Chosen based on a combination of performance in the course and interest in teaching

How does the Learning Assistant application process work?

  • If you haven't already created your account, please do so and make sure that you use your email address.
    • Click on the sign-up button in the upper-right corner of the page. 
    • Select "I am an undergraduate student."
    • Click the CSUSB logo
    • Fill out the information requested.
    • It may take a day or two for your account to be activated.
  • First, faculty instructors apply to be considered for an LA in one or more of their courses. Once their course is approved and the student application portal is open, students can begin to apply.
  • Login to your student account and browse the approved courses once the student application window opens. Here is a guide on the student application process. 
    • It is possible that not all approved courses will appear initially.
    • You can (and should!) apply for more than one course in a given term. 
    • You can accept up to 2 courses to work with in a given semester in special circumstances and if you do not have any other on campus job. 


For more information about the national Learning Assistant program, developed at UC-Boulder, please see: