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Peer Assisted Learning

The Peer Assisted Learning Program allows students to meet individually with other students who have previously been successful in the course content and really learn the material. Whether you are a B student or failing the course, PAL educators will help you prepare a study plan, prepare for exams, and help you identify the best approaches for learning the course material.

Click hereto see the list of available courses and instructions to set up an appointment with a PAL.


Students

Who can meet with a PAL peer-educator?

ANYONE! And it is FREE for University of Maryland undergraduates.

What courses can PAL peer-educators help with?

Check our database to see if your course is available. In general, peer-educators are available to assist with lower-level (100-200) undergraduate courses in the GenEd. If your course is not listed, contact the Peer Programs Coordinator to find out how to have your course added.

Who are the PAL peer-educators?

PAL educators are students just like you who want to help other UM students be successful. They have already taken the course and done well - now, they want to share their techniques with you. PAL peer educators are trained through Learning Assistance Service.

How often do I meet with a PAL peer-educator?

As little or as much as you need in order to reach your academic goals. You can schedule one appointment or more - the choice is yours. However, schedule early! PAL peer-educators are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Their schedules fill-up quickly, especially during exam time.

What do I bring to the session?

Bring your text, syllabus, lecture materials, or any other handouts, worksheets, or assignments you have questions about. It might also been useful to bring your academic planner or any other materials that would help you study.

How do I make an appointment?

appointments page.


PAL Educators

What is Peer Assisted Learing?

Learning Assistance Service (LAS) in the Counseling Center has developed a peer educator program called the PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) program designed around the concept of peers assisting their peers in reaching their short and long-term academic goals.

The PAL program is designed for students who want to meet with a PAL educator to receive support and assistance for one (or more) of their classes. PAL educators will help students improve their study skills, gain confidence in their scholastic abilities, and provide tips and techniques for continuing academic success.

Who can become a PAL?

PAL Educator Qualifications:

  • Must have a strong academic and major GPA (3.0 or higher)
  • Must have completed at least 2 academic semesters
  • Must be able to provide a current academic transcript
  • Must be able to provide a current semester class schedule
  • Must have a strong desire to support and assist fellow students

What are the requirements of PAL peer educators

PAL educators are student (undergraduate and graduate) volunteers who assist fellow university students requesting academic support and study skills assistance. PAL educators are expected to model positive decision making strategies regarding academics and learning and have a desire to support and assist others in reaching scholastic success.

The PAL program is a great opportunity for students to gain valuable experience which will enhance their personal and professional development. PAL educators form lasting relationships with other PAL program participants and are encouraged to participate in additional events sponsored by LAS such as team building activities and workshops.

Any student who would like to participate in the PAL program can be involved as a volunteer or for academic credit. Academic Credit options: EDCP318E (3 credits) or EDCP498 (1 credit) PAL educators will have the opportunity to receive ongoing, semester-long training, partake in professional development opportunities, and receive credit for participating in PAL programs.

Students will have the opportunity to obtain LAS Peer Educator Certification or College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA)'s International Mentor Training Program Certification (IMTPC)

How do I become a PAL peer educator?

To Apply:

  • Please complete and submit an application located online: Click Here to download the application.
  • Please provide a copy of your current transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)
  • Please provide a copy of your class schedule for the semester you plan to join the PAL program
  • Completed applications may be submitted to Learning Assistance Service in the Shoemaker Building, Room 2202 M-F 8:30am-4:30pm or emailed to Katie Koo - katiekoo@umd.edu (please attach the completed application, transcript, and class schedule to the email)
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For best consideration please apply by September 7th.

Notification:

  • Once your application has been reviewed, you will receive a decision from the PAL program coordinator via email.
  • Once accepted into the PAL program, you will then be eligible to enroll in EDCP318E (3 credit) or EDCP498 (1 credit) PAL course depending on your PAL track.

What will I learn in the PAL EDCP318E course?

Students registered for EDCP318 E and the EDCP498 Mentor Track will partake in the EDCP318 E course. As part of this course, PAL educators will receive ongoing, semester-long training, partake in professional development opportunities, and receive credit for participating in PAL programs. Any student who would like to participate in the PAL program for CRLA's IMPTC Certification must complete the EDCP 318E (via the 3 credit track or the 1 credit mentor track) and 50 hours of mentoring.

In the course, students will learn tools and techniques to assist them in their role as a peer educator and mentor. Students will better understand how their own development and experiences influence their relationships with PAL program participants. Through interactive assignments including reflection journals, professional development activities, experiential learning, group projects, and class discussions, students will learn more about student development, best practices regarding peers assisting peers, and leadership skills. By the end of the semester, each PAL educator will have created a professional peer educator portfolio highlighting their competencies and experiences as a peer educator and mentor.