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Information about the program

Undergraduate students can apply to be a Learning Assistant in CH301, CH302, Organic Chemistry, or Physical Chemistry. Students that succeed in the program have a strong desire to build their communication, leadership, and mentoring abilities and to further their understanding of chemistry concepts. To be considered for the program, learning assistants must have completed 301 and 302 with at least a B average and must submit an application by the required deadline (see below). 

As a Learning Assistant (LA) in our CH301, CH302, Organic Chemistry, or Physical Chemistry courses, you are a part of our teaching team. LAs assist students with activities and questions during class, in office hours, and/or in discussion sessions. Most LAs are working in person, but there may also be Zoom options. LAs are required to enroll in CH372C. CH372C class meetings focus on chemistry content review to ensure LAs are confident in the material they will be helping students with and professional development centered on topics such as facilitating discussion, questioning techniques, communication skills, ethics, and leadership. The course carries the ethics flag.

The LA program requires a time commitment of roughly 10-12 hours a week: 3 hours in a 301, 302, Organic Chemistry, or Physical Chemistry classroom, 2-3 hours in CH372C, an hour of office hour or discussion time, and about 4-5 hours of preparatory time. Total time will vary week to week and from LA to LA. The skills you learn as a part of this program can be a springboard to other on-campus student educator positions.   

The LA program is an unpaid experiential learning opportunity for students who are interested in strengthening their chemistry content knowledge and their communication, teaching, and leadership skills.  If you have questions about the program, please contact Dr. Stacy Sparks at ssparks@mail.utexas.edu.  Application details are below.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR FALL 2022 

For Fall 2022, we will have LAs assisting in CH301 and Physical Chemistry courses only.

Potential Learning Assistants should:

  • Have room in their schedule for CH372C. This course will be held MW 1-2. Additional professional development opportunities may also be offered Fridays 1-2.  You will receive directions for registering for the course upon acceptance to the program. You must be able to attend this course to be a Chemistry Learning Assistant.
  • Have time in their schedule for the CH372C coursework and for serving as part of the teaching team in one of our general, organic, or physical chemistry courses, approximately 10-12 hours per week. 
  • Submit the LA application via this Qualtrics link. As part of the application, you will be asked the following four questions. It may be helpful to compose your answers prior to opening the application.
    • What are your current career aspirations and goals?
    • Why are you interested in being a part of our Chemistry LA program?
    • Imagine you are a LA and you are talking to a freshman chemistry student who is struggling in the class.  What is one piece of advice you would give this student?
    • Imagine you are a LA and you overhear a student says something concerning about their mental health (e.g., "I'm so stressed. I'm giving up."). What would you say or do in this situation?
  • We will request a letter of recommendation from your current CH301/CH302/Ochem/Pchem professor. You do not need to request a recommendation letter.  If you are not currently in a UT chemistry course, you will be contacted after submitting your application about how to submit a letter of recommendation.

Deadline for priority application to the Fall 2022 LA program is Sunday, April 17th, 2022.