The Learning Assistant (LA) Program, an endeavor started at CU-Boulder over 10 years ago, has grown into an international enterprise. The Department of Psychology and Neuroscience is one of several departments on campus actively and increasingly engaged with the LA program. The main goals of the program are: to recruit and prepare talented science majors for careers in teaching; to engage science faculty in the recruitment and preparation of future teachers; to improve the quality of science education for all undergraduates; and to transform departmental cultures to value research-based teaching for ourselves and for our students.
This fall on the CU campus over 140 undergraduate Learning Assistants will facilitate learning in close to 40 classes across 10 departments. Collectively, almost 9,000 students will be enrolled in LA-supported courses this semester. Sixteen of these LAs will be in some of the department's classrooms. To date, LAs have been placed in some sections of the following courses: General Psychology, Introductory Cognitive Psychology, Psychology of Perception, Research Methods in Clinical Psychology, and Laboratory Techniques in Neuroscience.
The importance of this STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) enterprise was reinforced when NSF announced recently a $2.5 million dollar grant to CU-Boulder to expand and study the LA Program (CU-Denver was also awarded a separate grant of $1.1M). To learn more about the grant and some background on the program, see the CU press release, or visit the CU-Boulder LA program website.