Who are our instructors?
The physics department at Cal Poly is composed of approximately 35 tenure-track faculty members and 15 full-time lecturers with doctoral degrees in physics or physics education research, as well as part-time instructors, Teachers-in-Residence, Learning Assistants, tutors, graders, and technical staff, all of whom are here to serve primarily the instructional needs of our students.
Tenure-track faculty members carry out instruction, service, and scholarly activity as part of their regular expected duties.
Full-time lecturers are hired on short-term contracts (one-year minimum, three-year maximum) primarily to carry out instruction at the introductory level, but opportunities for professional growth and enrichments are available to them. Further information about our lecturers and their role in our department can be found here.
Part-time instructors teach anywhere from one class to a full load in a given quarter, depending on need and availability.
Teachers-in-Residence are instructors who serve in specialized roles within our department to help instruct courses and provide advising and resources for students in educational career tracks.
Learning Assistants (LA) are undergraduate students who work with Faculty Instructors in the classroom to facilitate problem solving, discussions, and activities in introductory and GE courses. These are students who have already taken the course and are interested in helping other students learn. LAs are able to explore teaching as a possible career path through direct classroom experience. Unlike Teaching Assistants or Lab Assistants at many other universities, LAs receive ongoing pedagogical preparation in the form of a seminar, in addition to preparation in the subject matter. For more information on our LA program, click here.
Tutors are advanced undergraduates who work part-time in the Physics Learning Center to provide free help to students in introductory courses. These paid, part-time positions are filled by students who have passed the course and who qualify for paid employment with the State of California. Physics Learning Center hours are updated each quarter and posted here for easy access.
Graders are undergraduates who assist instructors with assessment of student written work. These paid, part-time positions are filled by students who have passed the course and who qualify for paid employment with the State of California.