Faculty Information


What is PASS?

The Student Success Center works with faculty to provide course-specific facilitated study groups. PASS is led by students who are nominated by faculty members.

Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are peer-led review sessions provided for selected courses. PASS provides a chance for students to come together with classmates to compare notes, discuss study concepts, review for tests, and to develop better study strategies.

The sessions are conducted by PASS Leaders. PASS Leaders are students who have already taken the selected course and earned a high grade. In their sessions, they share their study strategies and help session participants learn how to study more effectively. The PASS leader does not re-lecture or give out his/her class notes, but reinforces material covered in class and helps the participants become independent learners.

Several studies have shown that the benefits of peer led study groups are significant. On average, research has shown that students who study together learn two and a half times as much in the same amount of time as students who study alone.

Collaborative learning promotes critical thinking through discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of others' ideas.

The PASS program encourages students to work with their classmates and to break the cycle of dependency that they may bring with them from secondary school.

Benefits of PASS

PASS does not identify high-risk students, but rather identifies historically difficult classes.

  • PASS is an active, peer-led study session that integrates how to learn with what to learn.
  • Students who regularly attend PASS consistently receive higher grades than non-participants.
  • PASS will help students acquire the skills necessary for success in the course.
  • PASS focuses on historically difficult courses, not high-risk students.
  • PASS provides the opportunity for all students to participate in a peer-led, active learning experience.
  • According to the U.S. Dept. of Education, students who participate in PASS remain enrolled in school at higher rates than those who do not participate.
  • PASS is being implemented in over 800 colleges and universities around the world.

Faculty's Role

Before the term begins, there are several points that should be discussed by the PASS Leader with each faculty member. The faculty member is asked to agree to cooperate in the following manner:

  • The PASS Leader will attend class each time it meets. 
  • The faculty member will be asked to make grades from the exams available to the PASS Leader as a means of determining whether or not students coming to PASS are performing at a higher level than those students not attending.
  • The PASS Leader will be given a few minutes at the beginning of each class to make announcements about the PASS program.
  • The PASS Leader and faculty member meet on a regular basis during the faculty member's office hours.