A Learning Assistant (LA) is a student who is paid to work with a faculty mentor assisting in a STEM classroom or laboratory with the goal of increasing student success and engagement. As they ‘try on teaching’, LAs serve as peer models, guiding students through in-class problem-solving exercises in small learning groups or on an individual basis in partnership with their faculty mentors. LAs have the opportunity to present mini-lectures during class as well as lead study and review sessions for the students outside of class.
- LAs are paired one-on-one to work with a faculty mentor.
- LAs receive pedagogy training and support as they learn strategies to promote discussion and collaborative learning with the students in class. The LAs also share study skills throughout the semester as they work with the students both in and outside of class.
- Learning Assistants receive a stipend for the semester (paid in two installments).
- Semester appointments have a 5 to 6 hour per week commitment.
- After the application deadline, selected candidates are interviewed before final assignments are made.
Apply to be a Learning Assistant
Fall 2018 Course Listings (PDF, ) - Describes the program and provides a listing of course openings.
Spring 2019 Course Listings and Student Application – coming early November 2018!
Quotes from former Learning Assistants:
- “The goal might have been 'to gain teaching experience' but I gained something different. I gained an experience on how to help others and get involved in their lives to change them.”
- “This program helped me how to think about concepts in different perspectives because each student question comes from a different perspective.”
- “I gained a lot of positive experiences working as an LA. I was able to understand the course much better by explaining it to others. In addition, I was also able to increase my ability in interacting with others.”
- “By far the most important thing I gained was a better understanding of the subject material. I also had a lot of fun and learned a good bit about how to explain concepts from different angles.”
Quotes from students in LA-supported classes:
- “Having someone (the LA) who went through the course successfully helped me set a standard for myself.”
- “The LA makes you feel encouraged and comfortable.”
- “The LA helped me become a better student.”
- “The LA helped me develop study skills for my future classes.”
Quotes from LA faculty mentors:
- “The LA helped create a sense of community and unity within the class which allowed the students to relax and feel comfortable engaging with the material and asking questions.”
- “My students greatly benefited from having a peer mentor/role model who could connect with them on their level and offer guidance and support.”
- “The LA program is a powerful student-centered program that changes lives.”
The STEM LA program was featured in @MontgomeryCollege: Mentoring a New Wave of STEM Teachers.
Watch Learning Assistants supporting students in STEM classrooms and laboratories at Montgomery College.
Come join the STEM LA Program! Become a Learning Assistant!
The Montgomery College STEM Learning Assistant program was developed with the support of a capacity building grant from the National Science Foundation under the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, Award No. 1239965 (2012-2015) and continues to receive support from the Phase I Scholarships and Stipends program, Award No. 1555634 (2016-2021). Additional support has been provided by a STEM grant from the National Science Foundation – Graduate and Transfer Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Talent Expansion Program (GT STEP), Award No. 1161231 (2012-2017) and a grant from the American Academy of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) – TIDES (Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM (2014-2017) as well as from internal and Montgomery College Foundation funds.