Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)

Outstanding UTAS students receive National Peer Leader Awards

Loren Atkins, PASS Program Coordinator Dr Jane Skalicky, and Kate Picone

Two UTAS PASS Leaders recognised nationally for their contribution to student learning.

Loren Atkins and Kate Picone were two of only eight Leaders across the Australasian region to receive national Peer Leader Achievement Awards in Recognition of Excellence and Contribution to Student Learning. Loren and Kate received their awards at the 2010 National Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Forum held recently on the Gold Coast.

Loren is studying a combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Law degree and has been working in the University of Tasmania PASS Program for three years, initially as a PASS Leader in Zoology, and for the past two years as a Senior PASS Mentor, supporting a group of PASS Leaders across a range of discipline areas. Loren won her award in the Senior Leader category.

Kate is studying a Bachelor of Marine Science and commenced as a PASS Leader at the University of Tasmania this year, running PASS Sessions for Biology of Plants and Ecology. Not only was this Kate’s first year as a Leader, it was also the first year that PASS was offered in the discipline of Plant Science, and Kate was the only Leader supporting the unit. Kate won her award in the New Leader category.

The judges from the International Centre for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Kansas City, Missouri commented on the strength of the applicants overall and with PASS programs running in over thirty universities across the Australasian region, it is a mark of the quality of the UTAS program and its Leaders, that we should be so successful.

The Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program is an academic support program, available to all students studying in selected first year units. PASS offers weekly, out-of-class sessions which focus on integrating course content (what to learn) with academic reasoning and study skills (how to learn). PASS sessions are facilitated by students who have previously and successfully completed the targeted unit. The program has expanded significantly over the past three years and in 2011 will support 50 first year units across all faculties (including the AMC) and the three Tasmanian campuses.

The program plays a key role in supporting student transition to university and in providing active and collaborative small group peer learning environments in which students can study and learn together throughout semester with the support of a trained senior student.

The UTAS PASS Program is coordinated by Dr Jane Skalicky from the UTAS Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching and has this year employed 46 high-achieving students in the role of PASS Leader and has been on offer to over 4000 UTAS students.

Published on: 31 May 2011 11:00am