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 the faculty who selected them 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.
Types of Request
A) Single Section Courses: If there is only one section of the course, the individual instructor for the course--including FY Seminars--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) 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. Departmental Administrative Assistants are welcome to submit forms on behalf of Department Chairs or PLA Department Coordinators.
Planning your PLA’s responsibilities:
- Number of Hours: 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.
- 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 learning 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?
- One-on-one tutoring: Have you planned assisting individual students for whom one-on-one tutoring is indicated in addition to group practice, review sessions? It can be very difficult to find one-on-one tutors once the semester is well underway.
- If you have previously had a PLA for a course, please include a brief paragraph summarizing the results of your most recent assessment. Assessment of previous experience with PLAs is required for renewed requests.
- For new requests, please describe your assessment plan regarding the effectiveness of the role of the PLA in your course(s).
- Our website has a Student Survey that you can give students in your courses with assigned PLAs. Feel free to use it or adapt it as you see fit. Dusty Smith, our Coordinator, also solicits information from the PLAs about their experiences.