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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.

What are the goals of the ULA Program?

  • Goal 1: Implement safety protocols and evidence-based practices in undergraduate courses.

  • Goal 2: Increase representation in undergraduate course leadership.

  • Goal 3: Increase pedagogical efficacy for the ULAs.

  • Goal 4: Provide ULAs with opportunities to explore teaching careers and develop transferable skills.

  • Goal 5: Develop ULAs interest, competence, and recognition in the disciplines.

  • Goal 6: Improve student satisfaction and success in gateway courses.

For more details about the goals and the history of the ULA @ LBC program, please review the ULA @ LBC Program Goals document. (PDF)

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 Job Descriptions and Hiring Criteria

Hiring decisions are made by faculty groups. Duties vary across course type but usually include things like attend lecture and assist the instructor by facilitating active learning in the classroom, run lab or studio sessions with the support of the instructor, facilitate recitation sections, helping students work on problems, hold office hours, mark assignments using a clear rubric provided by instructor, and attend weekly planning meetings with their teaching team.

In most courses, faculty look for applicants with the relevant coursework completed, aptitude for and/or interest in supporting group work and student problem solving, and a schedule that aligns with needed sections.

For more specifics about the roles and responsibilities of ULAs in each ULA-supported course and how hiring decisions are made by the faculty, we have a ULA Job Descriptions document for you to consult. 

How to Apply

All 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.

NEW! Application for Summer Session II (2024)

We are hiring Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULA) for one section each of MTH 103 and LB117 in Summer Session II. Both sections will be taught online synchronous, so to be qualified you must be available via Zoom at the specific times listed in the application. Offering these ULA positions depends on course enrollment for each course.

Review for new ULA positions will begin on May 31, the Friday after Memorial Day. Offers could be made as early as June 3. Once all positions have been filled, Dr.Barnard will email all applicants.

Apply to be a ULA in Summer Session II

What does the application ask for?

  • Name, email address, APID
  • Work preference (~5 hrs/week, ~10 hrs/week, either)
  • Semester preference
  • Prior experience as a ULA
  • Which disciplinary group(s) are you interested in working with?
  • For each disciplinary group selected, what is your course preference & what relevant courses have you completed?
  • Of the courses you indicated interest in, rank your top 3 choices.
  • Major, minor, student status during 24-25, anticipated graduation date
  • List your previous experience as a ULA, research assistant, or tutor
  • What are your future career and/or education plans?
  • Tell us about your experiences with public speaking.
  • Compose a statement describing why you would like to be a ULA.
  • How do you see yourself contributing to a welcoming climate of diversity and inclusion in your teaching capacity?
  • Provide the names of two LBC faculty or staff who best know your work in the area(s) for which you are applying
  • Confirm your availability for August training dates
  • Do you grant permission for us to look at your grades and overall GPA?
  • Race*
  • Gender*
  • Pronouns*
  • First generation college student* status

*Indicates that responses to these questions will be anonymized and used only for program evaluation purposes. Responses to these questions will not be shared with faculty to be used to make hiring decisions.


For more information, talk to your current ULAs, your professors, or contact Dr. Rachel Barnard, coordinator of the LBC Learning Assistant Program at rbarnard@msu.edu.