Improving student learning through peer learning assistants

The Office for Student Success and Achievement offers Peer Learning Assistants (PLAs) through Peer Learning and Teaching Others (PLaTO). The PLA program is proudly funded by the Active Learning Quality Enhancement Plan—All In—which seeks to create a culture of active learning for UGA undergraduate students. The PLA program supports PLAs, faculty, and students by facilitating the incorporation of more active learning strategies in undergraduate courses at UGA. The use of PLAs has been shown to deepen student learning, and to facilitate the use of research-informed instructional strategies.

The PLA program works in close collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) management team. The OSSA hires the PLAs, teaches a pedagogy course, and provides ongoing supervision and training to PLAs. The CTL provides faculty with supportive resources to promote effective use of PLAs. The QEP management team will develop assessment protocols to track the impact of the program. The faculty teaching these courses support their PLAs in understanding and delivering course content.

PLAs are students who have successfully completed a course and then return to support the learning of students currently enrolled in the same course. The basic component of the PLA program is an undergraduate level PLA-enhanced course in which the faculty member partners with PLAs to facilitate discussions and other active learning approaches among groups of students in that class.

Primary Goals

  • Improve student learning and content understanding in large enrollment courses through the use of PLAs
  • Build confidence, communication skills, and foundational knowledge of the subject in the students serving as PLAs
  • Deepen the PLAs’ expertise through experiential learning
  • Promote the expanded use of active learning approaches in undergraduate courses at UGA

Program Timeline

Fall Program Timeline:

  • February: Faculty application opens for 2 weeks.
  • End of February: Faculty Selection Committee reviews Faculty applicants.
  • March: Student application opens for two weeks.
  • April: Student interviews.
  • Mid-April: Faculty screen and rank applicants.
  • End of April: Offer letters are sent to successful student applicants, and faculty are notified.

Spring Program Timeline:

  • September: Faculty application opens for 2 weeks.
  • End of September: Faculty Selection Committee reviews Faculty applicants.
  • October: Student application opens for two weeks.
  • November: Student interviews.
  • Mid-November: Faculty screen and rank applicants.
  • Beginning of December: Offer letters are sent to successful student applicants, and faculty are notified.

For more information about the program email peerlearningassistants@uga.edu for a faster response time or call 706.542.0163.

The Latest News

First-generation students sitting at table at first-gen celebration.
Achieve Atlanta student beside UGA sign

Committed to students. Committed to success.

FAQs Give