Texas Tech University

STEP Program Learning Assistants

As we celebrate our growth at Texas Tech, we remain mindful of our commitment to providing students with a personalized educational experience. To achieve our mission of effectively shrinking the lecture hall and providing Red Raiders with more individual attention for problem solving, the TLPDC is announcing the integration of STEP Program Learning Assistants into high enrollment STEM courses.

This program, modeled from the highly successful Learning Assistant Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will be customized to suit the needs of students and faculty at Texas Tech. Specifically, STEP LAs will lead learning communities and facilitate active-learning in large enrollment STEM courses. 

Some faculty at TTU have implemented a similar model. To learn from their experience, we surveyed students and LAs.  Here are a few anonymous comments:

"The undergrads (LAs) give a unique perspective and really help us understand the material. They explain it in terms that a student can understand and also just make it more engaging by being able to relate to us (some of them are even friends). Which helps more than hurts in fact because it makes it easier to ask questions." -Student

"Having LA's in this class definitely helps us to understand the material. Some of the LAs can explain things in a way us students can understand it better. The LAs have taken this course so they are good at understanding where we are struggling and how to help us." -Student

"What made me decide to become a learning assistant was the unique experience I knew this class could provide. I wanted to have more knowledge on the subject by learning the material again and having enough knowledge on this subject to be able to teach it to others. Ultimately what drew me to the class was the 1 on 1 relationship with an amazing professor at this university. Through this class she will now know my name, who I am, and that I am knowledgeable in this subject. To me, that's an experience worth paying for."  -Learning Assistant

Initially, the STEP Program is partnering with the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to infuse CHEM 1307 General Chemistry with undergraduate Learning Assistants in Fall 2019!  We have also committed to repeating this effort in CHEM 1308 in Spring 2020.

Interested in becoming a STEP Program Learning Assistant? What does an LA do?

STEP Program LAs will be expected to attend (not enroll) each class period, MWF 10:00am-10:50am (3 hrs./wk.). During class, LAs will help students solve and understand problems and questions that are posed in class. LAs will be provided with a portable whiteboard and markers to help facilitate understanding. Each week, LAs will attend a 2 hour prep session, to be briefed on relevant content and pedagogical strategies. This session will also serve as a debrief from the previous week to help us reflect on the efficacy of our work and discuss ways to improve it. Finally, LAs will be expected to make themselves available 1 hour per week outside of class to meet with students from each in-class learning community. Students will not be required to meet with LAs, but our data show that they appreciate the option.

Benefits:

  • $10/hour
  • 6 hours per week
  • Earn 2 hours of CHEM 3000 credit toward your major
  • Work directly with TTU Instructors of Record

We are looking for students who:

  • Are Chemistry and/or Biochemistry majors
  • Enjoy interacting and learning with fellow students 
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above (preferred)
  • Earned an A or B in CHEM 1307

Click Here to Apply to be a STEP Program Learning Assistant

Deadline to apply is May 31st, 2019

If you have additional questions, contact ken.griffith@ttu.edu

 

 

Teaching, Learning, & Professional Development Center