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Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning and Evaluation (CASTLE)

LAs are undergraduates who are hired to facilitate small-group interaction in our large-enrollment courses. They are paid a modest stipend ($300/semester) for participating in the program, as well as, and hourly wage (~$1500/semester) to work 10 hours per week in various aspects of course transformation. The LA experience is valuable for students who continue on to any career, and will be a major addition to one's CV.


LAs help transform large-enrollment STEM courses by creating environments in which students can interact with one another, engage in collaborative problem solving, articulate and defend their ideas, and explicitly discuss aspects of the nature of science and the nature of learning science.

The LA experience has three main themes; content, practice, and pedagogy. These themes are brought in through four related activities:

Assisting Instructors

LAs help facilitate collaboration among learning teams by formatively assessing student understanding and asking guiding questions. This can occur through the facilitation of small discussions groups in classes and/or in recitations/help sessions. LAs will use good questioning skills and work to involve all students in meaningful group work. They also meet weekly with their faculty instructors to plan for the upcoming week, reflect on the previous week, and analyze student assessment data.

STEM Education

LAs from all departments are required to take a special 2-credit pedagogy course where they reflect on their own teaching and learning and make connections to relevant education literature. This course is offered both Fall and Spring semesters. It must be taken concurrently with your first LA experience.

Assessment Program

LAs will be expected to participate in a variety of observations, assessments, and questionnaires. The data will help track LAs' experiences and will be used to improve the LA Program in the future.

Learning Community

LAs are a part of a larger learning community. To foster a sense of community, they will be invited to participate in many of the RIT SMERC events including seminars, discussions, journal clubs, dinners, social events, and planning sessions. They will get to network with other LAs as well as College of Science faculty

Applications for the 2191 Fall Semester is now closed.

New LAs must register for the 2 credit LA Pedagogy course – ITDS 359 01:STEM Education: Research and Practice. This course will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-5:50pm.

LA Program Syllabus