CU Denver’s Learning Assistant Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Published: July 14, 2022

This spring, the CU Denver Learning Assistant (LA) Program celebrated its 10th Anniversary of supporting STEM student success. The LA Program was started in spring 2012 by Laurel Hartley, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology, and Robert (Bud) Talbot, Associate Professor of STEM education in the School of Education & Human Development. The LA Program has grown from having 15 LAs working in three courses during the first spring semester in 2012 to having over 110 LAs working with 20 faculty and serving over 1,500 students each semester. Hartley and Talbot have secured over $2 million in funding to conduct research on LA-supported courses and have advised four doctoral students and one postdoctoral researcher. Research shows that students in LA-supported courses are two times more likely to pass than students in the same course without LA support. And pass rates in LA supported courses are at least 10% higher than non-LA supported courses. The research data also shows that faculty who teach with LA support use more student-centered pedagogies. And exciting new research shows that LA support may be most beneficial to women who are underrepresented in STEM, and all groups of students see some benefit from having LAs help them learn.