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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 good understanding of chemistry concepts and are comfortable approaching and talking to other students (or are willing to work to develop those skills). To be considered for a position in the program, potential learning assistants will need to have good grades in their chemistry courses and submit an application by the required deadline.  All learning assistants must have completed both CH301 and CH302.  Organic chemistry LAs must have also completed both semesters of Ochem and LAs for 353 must have completed that course.

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. LAs also enroll in and attend CH372C. CH372C class meetings focus on content preparation for the classes the LAs are serving in 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. Depending on the course and COVID levels in the fall, classes will be in-person, online, or a combination. 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 2021

Potential Learning Assistants should:

  • Have room in their schedule for CH372C. This course will be held MW 2-3.  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:   https://utexas.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3IV4GJWHPnxJj2S
    • The application will ask a series of questions about your chemistry background.
    • You will also be asked the following three questions as part of the application:
      1. Why are you interested in being a part of our Chemistry LA Program?
      2. Which chemistry concept do you feel most confident helping other students with?  Which do you feel is your weakest chemistry area, the one you will need to do the most work reviewing?
      3. Being a LA will require you to approach students in our large lecture classes or on Zoom, ask them questions about their work, and facilitate discussions around the concepts. What strengths do you have that you feel will help in this process?  What is one part of this you feel might be difficult for you, the skill you feel you will most need to improve?
  • 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 2021 LA program is Sunday, April 18th, 2021.