Learning Assistant Program at CSU

The Learning Assistant Program at Colorado State University is a partnership between The Institute for Learning and Teaching and several academic departments.

Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate students invested in supporting the learning experience of fellow students. LAs partner with students enrolled in a particular course to expand their understanding of course content, strengthen their strategies for learning, and enhance their connection to campus.

As part of the instructional team, LAs collaborate with faculty to make the learning experience more accessible and engaging for students.  LAs are different from Teaching Assistants (TAs) because they focus on supporting students in their learning, rather than supporting the instructor in their teaching. (Talbot, Hartley, Marzetta & Wee, 2015)

Our LA Program works to support students, LAs, and faculty in transforming undergraduate courses so they involve more active learning and more closely align with research-based educational strategies.

Talbot, R., Hartley, L., Marzetta, K. & Wee, B.  (2015). Transforming undergraduate science education with learning assistants:  student satisfaction in large enrollment courses.  ​Journal of College Science Teaching, 44(5), 28-34


Learning Assistants (LAs) are students whom have previously done well in a course and are seeking to help students strengthen their learning strategies and master course material. Informed by established learning theory, LAs are trained to use varied pedagogical practices such as facilitating group activities and discussions. Here are some further details of what the LA role entails.

What Do LAs Do?

Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate peer educators who help to facilitate students’ learning both in & out of class. The LA experience involves practice, preparation, and pedagogy to support students’ success as well as LA’s success within the role.

CSU’s Learning Assistant (LA) Program is based on an evidence-informed model of peer-to peer academic support, and research strongly indicates that implementing the LA model with fidelity positive impacts all students (and positively impacts students from underrepresented & minoritized backgrounds even more). In fact, our data shows that LA-supported sections of courses have higher student success rates.

Alongside course instructors, our LAs work to make learning accessible and engaging for students, contribute to students’ success, and have a great time throughout it all.

On average, LAs work about 8-10 hours per week, spending their time:

  • working with the instructor and fellow LAs at weekly prep meetings to strategize how to best support students

  • attending lectures (and recitations) to facilitate active learning activities & address students’ questions

  • offering drop-in support to students during group learning sessions in TILT’s Great Hall

  • strengthening students’ knowledge and skills through one-on-one & small group tutoring

  • helping students prepare for upcoming exams through exam review sessions

  • reviewing course materials to further their own knowledge of course content

  • sharing their perspective and offering suggestions to improve students’ learning and experience in the course


Stacey Clark

Stacey Clark

Learning Assistant Program Coordinator


Phone: 970-491-2276

Email: Stacey.Clark@colostate.edu

Jennifer Roche

Jennifer Roche

Learning Assistant Program Coordinator

AlexCHEM 107 LA
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"The LA role definitely gives you an experience that will last a long time after this job. Working with the students – helping them progress through the course and figure out a lot of those things that maybe you struggled with when you took the course – it's really cool. And you get to build relationships with your students and your LA team - it’s a really fun experience."
McKennaBZ 110 LA
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"You build a lot of relevant skills and career competencies early on in the LA job. You gain an understanding of what the LA model is & in learning teaching skills, you become better at a lot of other things you never would have expected. Something I've noticed is that, for me personally, I’ve become more social, more communicative, better at public speaking, and more outgoing. I can't express it enough: it's just such a great job. It’s awesome."
LaurenLIFE 102 LA
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"One reason I love being an LA is because of the connections I have made with students, fellow LAs, and professors. Being an LA has also taught me how to step out of my comfort zone in many situations - and I will take those skills with me long past college."
EmilyLIFE 102 LA
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“My favorite part of this job is how much you learn from it. You would expect that, as a peer educator, you would spend your entire time teaching others, but as an LA, I have found that this program has taught me so much. You grow as an educator, but you also grow as a student and as a person.”