Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) Program
What is SLA?
Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) is an academic support program that is available to all interested students. SLA features weekly study and practice workshops in which students master course content to develop and apply specific learning strategies for the course, as well as strengthen their study skills to improve performance in the current SLA course, and for future courses.
What should I expect from the SLA facilitator?
The workshops are led (facilitated) by successful upper-level students, who in collaboration with the professor, develop workshop materials. The facilitators clarify lecture points for the students and assist them in understanding the expectations of the professor, while additionally focusing on improved study skills.
What will I be required to do?
The content for an SLA course is identical to that of a non-SLA course. The difference is that if a student's grade falls below a "C"*, the SLA student is required to attend all workshop sessions until the grade returns to a "C" or better. *(The faculty may decide to set the mandatory "cut-off" grade higher, if he/she feels it is necessary.) If students desire, they may continue to attend the workshops voluntarily, after they have achieved the established cut-off grade, to maintain their high grades. Workshop activities frequently include study guides, collaborative learning/group activities, homework assistance, test preparation, and study skills such as discovering your preferred learning style, efficient note-taking, time management, and test-taking strategies. Workshops meet from one to two hours per week throughout the entire semester. The workshop times are formally attached to the student's class schedule and there is no additional charge to the student for this support.
Students who anticipate the need for additional help in a specific course can find the SLA schedule/sections that are offered during fall and winter semesters by going on myBanner and clicking in the "Attribute Type" box, and then clicking on Structured Learning Assistance.
Is an SLA Course Right for You?
If you agree with any of the following statements, you may want to enroll in an SLA course!
- I am interested in a competitive post-graduate program, and it is essential that I do well in my courses.
- I can grasp most subject content, but sometimes I need to have the material explained again.
- After having taken a test, I often don't do as well as I thought I would.
Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) - Student Informational
PASS is a learning enhancement program. It is designed to organize and improve the ways in which students prepare for class, outside of class. PASS is attached to courses to provide students with a systematic and disciplined approach for processing the course material assigned by the professor. Through this program a peer leader (usually an upper-level student) is assigned to a course. This is a student who is usually recommended by the professor and has demonstrated proficiency in a targeted course and undergoes PASS training. The peer leader attends the lecture portion of the course to keep up with the current content being presented. The peer leader schedules and conducts one - two review/study meetings per-week at times convenient to members of the class. During these sessions, the peer leader uses interactive learning strategies which encourage involvement, comprehension, and synthesis of course content. In addition, the peer leader will encourage effective study strategies for the course.
PASS targets historically challenging courses. In other words, this course contains content that students consider to be difficult and/or challenging.
PASS is not intended to create additional work for students. The PASS support is provided for you solely to help you succeed in this course by reviewing course content and learning effective study strategies for the course.
The peer leader will attend all class meetings; maintain a professional attitude about matters such as class standards, grades, and student complaints; discourage students from attending the out of class study sessions as a substitute for class; share materials with the faculty member before use, if possible; and provide feedback to the faculty member if requested to do so. Peer leaders are not instructors, guest lecturers, paper graders, or teaching assistants; they are there solely to supplement the course content.
You as a student should expect to receive additional instructional support
for the course along with effective study strategies to improve your performance in the course.
For further information about the Structured Learning Assistance Program or Peer Assisted Study Sessions, please feel free to contact Jackie Rautio at (616) 331-3451.