About the PAL Program

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The Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program is an academic assistance program that provides support both inside and outside of the classroom. The PAL program is an academic assistance program that is free to students enrolled in select courses and typically merges the success of peer tutoring with the benefits of being a presence in the classroom.

Once a faculty-mentor commits to the PAL program, he/she will recommend or select a student to be a Peer Assisted Learning Leader. In order to be selected as a Peer Assisted Learning Leader, the student must have previously taken and excelled in the identified course (with the same professor as the one serving as his/her faculty-mentor).  Final hiring decisions are made per the discretion of Writing and Tutoring Resources.

While the role of a Peer Assisted Learning Leader varies depending on the demands of the PAL course, the traditional Peer Assisted Learning Leader attends the PAL class and holds office hours, thus creating a peer-led, relaxed learning environment for students. By observing lecture and participating in classroom discussions and/or labs, the Peer Assisted Learning Leader is able to develop a rapport with the students, become aware of content areas where the students may be struggling, and take current notes, making it all the more likely that students will attend the Peer Assisted Learning Leader’s office hours. 

Office hour tutoring sessions may take on a variety of forms depending on the course. While many Peer Assisted Learning Leaders favor one-on-one tutoring, others also organize and facilitate group review sessions before exams. At moments when no students have shown for office hours, Peer Assisted Learning Leaders spend their time preparing for future tutoring sessions by reviewing class material and/or creating materials that will further help students retain the information they received in lecture.

The faculty-mentor and PAL Coordinator share the responsibilities of training the PAL Leaders. In order to learn best tutoring practices, the Peer Assisted Learning Leaders participate in training modules that are organized by Writing and Tutoring Resources. While using the PAL program is completely voluntary, preliminary research has shown that students who seek help from Peer Assisted Learning Leaders during lecture and office hours are more likely to earn higher grades in historically difficult classes.

At this time, we have PAL Leaders available in the following courses (Spring 2016): 

  • Accounting 2010
  • Biology 1150: General Biology
  • Biology 1650: Unity of Life
  • Biology 2140/2340: Anatomy & Physiology
  • CE 2220: Computer Apps for Civil Engineering
  • Chemistry 1020: Introductory Chemistry
  • Chemistry 1050: General Chemistry
  • Chemistry 2150: Quantitative Analysis
  • ECO 2130
  • EE 2220: Signals & Systems
  • History 1020: World Civilization II
  • Math 010 and 0015: Beginner and Intermediate Algebra
  • Math 1030: Math for Educators I
  • Math 2030: Math for Educators II
  • Math 3030: Math for Educators III
  • ME 2630: General Dynamics
  • ME 3640: Heat Transfer
  • Psychology 2230: Introduction to Experimental Psychology
  • Political Science 2360: International Relations

Stop by our office or talk to your professors to see if there is a PAL Leader associated with any of the classes that you are taking.

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