About FYE Discussion Leaders

The First Year Experience Program at UC San Diego works with approximately 50 undergraduate Discussion Leaders (7-8 at each college, number subject to change year to year) to co-teach the First Year Experience (FYE) and Transfer Year Experience (TYE) courses in the Fall. Our discussion leaders (DLs) are an important component of our program. DLs are outstanding junior and senior-standing students who are recruited to serve as role models and mentors for incoming students. They are students in good academic standing and demonstrate leadership/involvement in other areas of campus life.

How to Become a Discussion Leader

Serving as a discussion leader is a unique leadership opportunity for students to teach as undergraduates, work with faculty and graduate teaching assistants, mentor students, and engage with the campus in a meaningful way. Every winter, we invite UCSD undergraduates to submit applications to become discussion leaders for the following academic year. Check Port Triton or our website in January for our job ad and application information.

Apply Now   (click to view application)  

Undergraduate Instructional Apprentices (UGIAs) – students with no prior FYE teaching experience may apply for an Undergraduate Instructional Apprentice (UGIA) position. UGIAs assist in courses under the direct supervision of an instructor, learning the fundamentals instruction in a collegiate level course. 

Returning Discussion Leaders

Undergraduate Tutors – Students with prior service in FYE are eligible to be assigned as an Undergraduate Tutor, assisting for paid compensation. 

Eligibility Requirements for UGIAs/Tutors

  • A 3.0 overall UC GPA.
  • Upper division standing (JR or SR, at least 90 units completed)
  • Complete College writing sequence


  • UGIAs only grading option is Pass/Not Pass
  • Students cannot be a UGIA for the same course more than once
  • Students cannot be a UGIA for more than one course in a quarter

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Attend a nine-week training (WEEKS 1-9) in the Spring quarter
  • Attend a one-day meeting prior to the start of WEEK 0 in Fall quarter
  • Attend weekly lectures led by the faculty instructor in the Fall
  • Prepare lesson plans and lead weekly discussion sections 
  • Attend weekly meetings with a graduate teaching assistant to prepare for sections
  • Attend relevant meetings and review assignments
  • Work with faculty and staff in the FYE program implementation
  • Hold weekly office hours 

Training & Supervision

Discussion leaders will be trained for their responsibilities during the Spring QTR. All discussion leaders are mentored and supervised by the instructor and the graduate TA assigned to the course. Discussion leaders must meet with the instructor and graduate TA before the beginning of instruction to establish organizational guidelines for the quarter. After the initial meeting, regular weekly meetings with the graduate TA are essential. Course material (syllabus, readings, etc.) will be available prior to the beginning of instruction.

2020 Spring Training Dates 

  • All discussion leaders are required to attend a 9-week training in WEEKS 1-9 during Spring 2020. Discussion leaders must be able to attend either the 4:00-6:00 pm training on Mondays OR the 5:00-7:00 pm training on Tuesdays (Location: Thurgood Marshall Administrative Building - Conference Room 127)

2020 Pre-Fall-quarter Meeting

  • All discussion leaders are required to attend a one-day meeting prior to the start of Fall 2020. This meeting will likely be the Monday of WEEK 0. More details TBA.