What is a PLA?

A UGA STEM Peer Learning Assistant (PLA) is an undergraduate who supports a course they previously completed with a high degree of success. Unlike other models such as Supplemental Instruction, PLAs provide learning support during regularly scheduled class meetings. PLAs apply the semester prior to serving in the classroom, and are required to participate in three elements of the program. The three pillars of the PLA experience are Content, Pedagogy, and Practice. Many faculty across campus utilize undergraduates in their courses in similar ways, but in order to be a PLA, all three elements must be included.


PLAs meet weekly with their supervising faculty to discuss upcoming content and review materials in advance of class meetings.


All STEM PLAs enroll in a 1-credit-hour, 3000-level course during their first semester as a PLA. Two courses have been developed as a result of OSE's efforts on the USG STEM Initiative.


All PLAs regularly attend class meetings and provide support to their peer undergraduates during various active learning events.