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Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs)

What is an Undergraduate Learning Assistant?

Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs) are core members of our teaching team at Lyman Briggs College. They assist faculty in providing an enriching and supported educational environment in lectures, recitations, and labs. 

Who can become a ULA? 

Some of our strongest ULAs are those who challenged themselves in a class and ultimately succeeded. ULAs need to understand the struggle in order to help others navigate our rigorous courses. If you enjoy helping your classmates master a tough concept or make a new connection, you might be a good ULA candidate!  

ULA Duties

ULA duties vary between positions, but may include:

  • Studio support. ULAs assist the instructor by prepping materials and experiments and facilitating active learning in the studio.
  • Lecture support. ULAs attend lecture and assist the instructor by facilitating active learning in the classroom.
  • Laboratory support. ULAs manage laboratories.
  • Laboratory preparation. ULAs assist in the provision of materials and tools and cleanup for laboratories.
  • Recitations. ULAs run recitation sections, helping students work problems, answering questions.
  • Help rooms and office hours. ULAs run these.
  • Grading. ULAs mark assignments or exams using a clear rubric provided by the instructor.
  • Weekly planning meetings. All ULAs attend weekly meetings with their faculty supervisors to plan the week ahead.

Successful ULA Candidates

  • Successful candidates exhibit qualities such as: maturity, professionalism, intellectual curiosity, an ability to handle stressful situations, and a calm demeanor and positive/optimistic outlook. They also demonstrate an interest in the discipline and in learning and teaching.
  • Successful candidates usually have demonstrated success as a student in the specific class we are hiring for. Grades and overall GPA are one indication of success in a class, but other qualifications are just as important. These might include experience with specific content or laboratory experiments, for example.
  • Returning experienced ULAs who have demonstrated success in the instructional team are given priority.
  • Applicants who are currently Lyman Briggs majors get priority over those who are not.
  • The applicant’s weekly schedule must align with needed sections.

How to Apply 

All LBC ULAs apply using an online application. There are three rounds of applications each year. In the Fall semester, we fill a few dozen positions that start in the Spring. In the Spring semester, we hire over one hundred ULAs to begin the following Fall semester. In the Summer, we hire a handful of ULAs to support our growing summer curriculum.

Application

We are using a new system called “LA Campus.” 

Here is the link to LA Campus: https://learningassistantalliance.org/sys/access/signin.php

Click Sign-up / Sign-in and create an account using your MSU email address.

Quick guide for how to use the LA Campus system & what the application questions are. 

Contact

For more information, talk to your current ULAs, your professors, or contact Dr. Rachel Barnard, coordinator of the ULA hiring process, at rbarnard@msu.edu.