The Peer Learning Associates Program fosters mentoring relationships between faculty and their Peer Learning Associates and between students at different stages of their academic careers. Peer Learning Associates work closely with faculty to enhance peer learning in a variety of ways, e.g., facilitating discussions or group projects in or outside class, running planned review or practice sessions or supplemental labs, and helping students through group or one-on-one tutoring.
Planning responsibilities for PLAs
It is important to formulate your requests on the basis of how many hours of work per week in total you think you will need. We ask that you plan so that no individual PLA in your department works more than 8 hours per week, but a department can distribute funded hours among a number of PLAs in the way that suits the students' availability and the department's needs.
Our PLA budget is limited. Please review carefully the following responsibilities carefully if you plan to include them in your request:
- PLA attends classes: How important is it for your PLA to attend classes? Does the PLA have an active role during class? Is the PLA already very familiar with the course materials and leanrning objectives?
- PLA Drop-In hours/office hours: Do you have data to support office hours are regularly attended? Have you considered one-to-one appointments? Scheduling sessions for review or practice with specific topics?
Types of Request
A) Single Section Courses: If there is only one section of the course, the individual instructor for the course should complete a request for each course via our online form. If there is more than one section, please see below and consult with your department chair.
B) First Year Seminars: The individual instructor should use the online form and complete a form for each FY Seminar. Please enter your home department on the form.
C) Multiple Section Courses or At-large Tutors: Department Chairs or PLA Coordinators should make PLA requests for courses (1) with more than one section or (2) when covering multiple courses in a program (e.g., all beginning and intermediate language courses) and (3) when requesting "at-large" tutors who would be available, as needed, for one-on-one tutoring for any student taking courses in the department. Use a single FORM for these kinds of request.
Planning should address broad departmental needs and assume that PLAs may be shared by more than one faculty member, section, or course.
Resources for Students needing one-on-one Tutoring When planning activities and responsibilities for PLAs, please be careful to include sufficient hours to assist individual students for whom one-on-one tutoring is indicated in addition to group practice, review sessions. We ask all departments to consider whether there is a need to have "at-large" PLAs available for students in need of tutoring. Because it can be very difficult to find one-on-one tutors once the semester is well underway, we recommend planning ahead for this.
For all requests:
- Be sure to check off all the different kinds of duties you plan to assign to your associates.
- Describe your assessment plans.
- Please include a brief paragraph summarizing the results of your most recent assessment.
- Completed requests for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 are due 22 April 2016. If funds are still available, another call for Spring 2017 will be sent out in September.
Dusty Smith, who is coordinating the PLA program for the Office of Academic Advising, or I would be happy to respond to your questions and suggestions.
Dr. GailAnn Rickert
Dean of Academic Advising