Randy Juste was a math Learning Assistant at FIU who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry this spring. As a student, between classes and studying, he worked 15 hours a week in the Math Mastery Lab.
The Mastery Math Lab, where students attend weekly tutoring sessions, is designed for students in intermediate and college algebra courses. It is predominantly staffed by Learning Assistants, like Juste, who are there to help their peers navigate the rigors of math. This approach is an alternative to traditional lecture learning and, for many, makes classwork more relatable.
Juste began working as a Learning Assistant in the fall of 2012. His experience was recently featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education where he points out that, aside from helping others, working as a Learning Assistant actually made him a better student.
FIU has one of the largest peer-teaching programs in the country with 300 learning assistants. This approach of students teaching other students has revolutionized how courses in physics, math, chemistry, earth sciences and biological sciences are taught.