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Peer-Assisted Student Success: Information for academics

Information for academics

Would you like to offer another level of support for your students that gives them the opportunity to develop key transferable skills? Are you looking to foster a sense of community across programme levels? PASS could be the answer! Peer Assisted Students Success offers modules and programmes an extra level of support that is student driven, led by experienced students in weekly timetabled sessions.

Why have PASS in my subject area?

PASS session allows students to come together for collaborative learning led by at least two PASS Leaders. Importantly, PASS Leaders facilitate and do not teach! They help students with their independent studies by helping to reinforce what they have already learnt whilst being at university. They also offer peer support for students adjusting to life at university. A PASS session creates an environment for students to come to a timetabled session each week to ask any and all questions they may have about their studies. This can free time for academic staff whilst allowing students to ask questions they may be less comfortable approaching a lecturer about, through shyness or embarrassment. The PASS Leaders have two full days of training to get give them experience with using facilitation techniques and are supported by the Skills Team and PASS Mentors. PASS Mentors are previous PASS Leaders who have wanted to continue with the scheme and use their experience of been a PASS Leader to offer another level of peer support to current Leaders.

What is required of me?

Initially, we ask to have a meeting with an academic contact to understand how your programme is designed and how it operates. This will allow us to plan and adapt to suit the needs of the students. The academic contact will be kept up to date throughout the academic year on the status of PASS in your subject area. Following this, during the recruitment period in trimester 2 for the following academic year but not always, we ask that academics give a shout-out in lecture to raise awareness of our recruitment process for PASS Leaders. Also, the Skills Team will have conversations about timetabling which is one less worry for academics.

Once the sessions have started, we ask that the academics arrange a debrief for that week and attend a debrief for at least the first 15 minutes. A debrief is a weekly meeting scheduled at some point after the PASS session has been delivered where the PASS Leaders, PASS Mentors and the academic contact meet for around 50 minutes to discuss how the PASS session went. For academics, it’s also a chance to gain feedback from students on the current teaching and lectures, or even how students are feeling about assignments.

How do I start PASS in my subject area?

How PASS is implemented is a collaborative decision made between the Academic Contact within the Department and members of the Skills Team. PASS is discipline-based and is usually attached to a challenging module. This offers insight to the Leaders and attending students on what students find challenging so they can anticipate some of the student’s questions. However, PASS can also be at the programme level, as this opens the scheme to the wider cohort and helps build a sense of community across the programme. However, in a PASS session, the attending students are the ones who decide what topic they would like to cover that week and the PASS Leaders facilitate.

If you are interested in implementing PASS in your subject area contact:

Current Schemes

Below is a list of subject areas that PASS will be running in for 2023/24

  • Accounting and Finance  (level 4 and 5)
  • Engineering
  • Forensic Science
  • Foundation Year 
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Midwifery 
  • Nursing
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology 
  • Social Work
  • Sports Nutrition