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About FYE Discussion Leaders

The First Year Experience Program at UC San Diego works with undergraduate Discussion Leaders (DLs) to co-teach the First Year Experience (FYE) and Transfer Year Experience (TYE) courses in the Fall. An important component of the 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 UC San Diego undergraduates to submit applications to become discussion leaders for the following academic year. 

Undergraduate Instructional Apprentices (UGIAs) – students with no prior FYE teaching experience who wish to serve as a Discussion Leader will 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.

In Fall 2023, five of the undergraduate colleges will host FYE and/or TYE courses:

  • Revelle College: FYE (REV 1) and TYE (REV 2)
  • Thurgood Marshall College: FYE (TMC 1) and TYE (TMC 2)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College: FYE (ERC 1) and TYE (ERC 2)
  • Sixth College: FYE (SXTH 1)
  • Earl Warren College: FYE (ERC 1) TBD

You can be a student in any of the seven undergraduate colleges to apply - just select your college of choice!

Returning Discussion Leaders

Undergraduate Tutors – Students with prior service as a Discussion Leader in the FYE/TYE Program are eligible to be assigned as an Undergraduate Tutor for paid compensation.



  • 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 of a DL

  • Attend the paid training (Spring Quarter 2023 dates TBD)
  • 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 2023. All discussion leaders are mentored and supervised by the instructor(s) and the graduate TA assigned to the course. Discussion leaders must meet with the instructor(s) 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.

2023 Spring Quarter Training Dates TBD

  • All first-time discussion leaders are required to attend the Spring Quarter training. Training will take place during Spring Quarter. Discussion leaders must be able to attend all training sessions. 

2023 Pre-Fall-quarter Meeting

  • All discussion leaders are required to attend a one-day meeting prior to the start of Fall Quarter 2023 during Week 0.