Learning Assistant and Instructional Lab Coordinator

Job #

Position overview

Position title: Learning Assistant and Instructional Lab Coordinator

Salary range: See Table 36 for the full salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $62,213 - $78,564.
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: April 25, 2024

Application Window

Open date: April 1, 2024

Next review date: Monday, Apr 15, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Sunday, Jun 30, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Department of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, invites applications for the position of Academic Coordinator (AC) from May 2024 through June 2025, with the possibility of renewal, depending on performance and budget constraints. Applications will be kept active for consideration until the position is filled. Upon starting the position, the successful candidate will be required to be physically present in the Santa Barbara area to commute regularly to campus.

The department is looking to hire a passionate Academic Coordinator (AC) who will manage our Learning Assistant (LA) program, TA assignments, and Physics Study Room, and assist the Instructional Lab Group (ILG) to run, maintain, and improve instructional labs for UCSB undergraduate students. Working closely with the staff, faculty, grads, undergrads, and Academic Coordinators of ILG, the new hire will maintain a scholarly and inclusive culture while performing a variety of educational and administrative duties. This position will be split as 60% LA Coordinator (LAC) and 40% Lab Coordinator (LC).

Learning Assistant Coordinator
The objective of the Learning Assistant Program is to bring the interactive and collaborative environment typical of a small-enrollment class to the large-enrollment upper-level and introductory physics major courses. Undergraduate students who have already performed well in a course are trained to actively help the next class of students succeed while receiving course credit for their training. Creating active-learning-based small group discussions within a large course has been demonstrated to improve the quality of physics education substantially, increase student understanding of and satisfaction with the coursework, and increase the level of understanding and teaching skills of the Learning Assistants.

The duties and responsibilities of the LAC involve managing undergraduate LAs, undergraduate Readers, graduate TAs, and the PSR. Tasks specifically include but are not limited to:

  • Recruiting LAs and Readers through advertising, information sessions, and personal engagement efforts quarterly and yearly.
  • Developing informational resources for LAs, students, and faculty regarding logistics and pedagogy surrounding LAs, TAs, and the PSR.
  • Actively participating in training Physics LAs and developing strategies for improving LA effectiveness.
  • Managing the Physics Study Room (PSR), including scheduling office hours, supervising LAs, TAs, and tutors, and implementing improvements to the PSR.
  • Coordinating with students, faculty, and staff on LA training within specific courses and the LA program as a whole.
  • Working towards improving department climate and diversity gaps in the context of LAs, TAs, and the PSR.

ILG Lab Coordinator
The Academic Coordinator will also provide general support to the Instructional Lab Group. The ILG is in charge of the development, maintenance, and administration of all undergraduate instructional laboratories and the associated coursework. AC responsibilities within the ILG include, but are not limited to, working both independently and also with other faculty & staff to:

  • Participate in the development, assembly, repair, and implementation of lecture demonstrations and lab equipment.
  • Actively participate in the training of faculty, grads, and undergrads regarding safety issues and operation of demonstrations and lab equipment.
  • Creating, testing, maintaining, and updating laboratory manuals for various instructional lab courses.
  • Creating engaging content, including videos and online materials.
  • Joint oversight of TAs, including weekly training, and monitoring of performance.
  • Managing the TA roster and Gauchospace (Moodle) web page for each course.
  • Facilitating communication among TAs, staff, and faculty.
  • Direct involvement with course execution, such as dropping in and assisting with curriculum completion and questions beyond the scope of TA expertise.

In addition, the AC serves as a mediator between students and faculty in lower division courses, providing helpful and timely feedback regarding administrative details, material and room availability, and additional technical support.

The distribution of work will vary by week based on the quarterly schedule. Though there is a wide range of duties associated with the Lab Coordinator position, the AC will not be responsible for all of these duties simultaneously.

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

At minimum, applicants should be enrolled in a Bachelor's degree program in physics or closely related field at the time of application.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

Possess a Bachelor's degree in Physics or closely related field at the time of appointment.

Preferred qualifications
  • 1-2 years experience with at least one of the following: Python, Javascript, or Google App Script.
  • 1-2 years of experience in STEM Teaching at the undergraduate level or higher (including TAships).
  • 1-2 years of experience in a position that required administrative and organizational activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to write reports and communications to high-level grant-dispensing institutions.
  • strong interest in higher education and be comfortable with generating high quality learning content and strategies on a regular basis.
  • Proficient with most mathematics or physics concepts that may appear in courses up to the Bachelor’s level. Applicants should also have familiarity with experimental physics and its core principles.
  • interest in learning new technical skills and growing as an educator and administrator.
  • Previous experience managing students and academic programs focused on pedagogy.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 2-4 required (contact information only)

With the applicant's permission, the committee will contact the references listed in UCRecruit for top candidates.

Apply link: https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/JPF02707

Help contact: jdill00@ucsb.edu

About UC Santa Barbara

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs, as may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

Job location

Santa Barbara, CA

Application Links