USM’s Learning Assistant Program is based on a national model originating from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate or graduate students who, through the guidance of weekly preparation sessions with faculty and a training program, facilitate small-group activities in a variety of classroom settings to support student learning and success. These activities occur every week during class meeting time, involving small-group discussions, practice, problem solving, and other approaches best aligned with the subject matter and learning outcomes of each course.
The LA model has been demonstrated to increase students’ engagement, learning, performance, and confidence in the course. Students also learn to self-test, build metacognition, and improve learning strategies that extend beyond the course using the model.
A unique attribute of USM’s LA Program is its intentional connection to other peer academic support services and models at the university. As peer educators, the LAs strengthen their own mastery of concepts and content, while building transferable skills for future professional endeavors.
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