Apply to be a PILOT Leader

PILOT Learning and the PILOT Leaders

The PILOT Learning program organizes students into peer-led groups to facilitate collaborative, effective study and mastery of course material. The non-competitive environment established in these groups serves to build community while simultaneously conditioning confidence in problem solving accuracy and improving performance in a given subject area. The primary goal of the PILOT Learning program is to build academic community among classmates.

The PILOT Leaders serve an essential role in the PILOT Learning Program. They are students who have not only demonstrated that they have mastered the material for the courses they support but who are also dedicated to creating a safe environment allowing participants to feel comfortable to take risk in solving problems in front of their peers. PILOT Leaders develop and maintain a positive and productive relationship among the PILOT group members focusing on inclusion and consensus building, constructing a culture of unanimous understanding. They are students who are interested in developing their leadership skills and are specially trained to lead in a manner that empowers students to take an active role in their learning process, while still maintaining credibility and necessary influence over the group dynamic.

Next academic year, the PILOT Learning program will support the following courses:

  • Calculus I & II for Biological & Social Sciences
  • Calculus I & II for Physical Science & Engineering
  • Calculus III
  • Linear Algebra
  • Introductory Chemistry I & II
  • General Physics I & II for Physical Science
  • General Physics I & II for Biological Science
  • Introduction to Materials Chemistry
  • Public Health Biostatistics
  • Fundamentals of Epidemiology

Responsibilities for PILOT Leaders

PILOT Leaders must be registered undergraduate or graduate students at Johns Hopkins University.

Leaders facilitate weekly group problem solving sessions for groups of 6-10 students. The two hour sessions are scheduled on Sunday afternoon and evening and on Monday – Thursday evenings. Leaders also attend a mandatory two hour leader meeting weekly to work through the PILOT problem set with the other Leaders supporting the course. Once a PILOT assignment is given, the leader must commit to leading his or her group(s) for the duration of the semester.

All leaders must attend the initial training session before receiving their assignments. Additionally, leaders must be able to commit to a monthly meeting from 7:30 – 9:30 pm scheduled on Thursday evenings for continued training.

Finally, Leaders are required to maintain current attendance records and to communicate regularly and in a timely manner with the Core Leadership, their assigned course facilitator, and Ariane Kelly.


To be eligible, a student must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and have earned a “B+” in the specific JHU course being tutored. Students with AP credit who have taken a higher level course and earned at least a “B+” are also eligible. (Exceptions may be possible on a case-by-case basis).

Leaders must be able to communicate effectively and should have a mature, professional demeanor. They are responsible for conveying and transferring passion for the subject material coupled with a desire to learn and teach. The must demonstrate leadership skills and potential to plan and organize not only themselves but also a group of students. They must effectively respect, appreciate, and work with people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. They must maintaining consistency, reliability and integrity in the face of challenge and change.

How to Apply

If you believe you meet the above criteria and want to join the PILOT Learning program as a PILOT Leader, we will be accepting applications for Fall 2014 PILOT leader positions until 9:00am on Monday, March 9, 2015. To apply, complete the application and email it to

We expect to receive many applications. Criteria for consideration include: course performance, tutoring and mentoring experience, quality of essay responses, ability to meet deadlines, and schedule availability.

If your application is selected, you will be invited to observe a PILOT Learning session where you will be focused on how the Leader is working rather than on the specific course material and problems being solved. You will follow up this experience with an informative conversation that could be considered a two-way interview with current PILOT Leaders. Finally you will be invited to interview with Dr. Laura Foster.

Our needs and open positions change each year. If you apply and are not hired, please consider applying again another year. With rare exception, PILOT Leaders are trained in the fall for the entire year.