Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) and Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) are forms of peer-led Supplemental Instruction that are available in some high-risk courses at GVSU. Supplemental Instruction is a form of peer-tutoring that focuses on collaboration, group learning, and interaction to help students succeed in historically difficult courses with high rates of poor grades or withdrawals. In their SLA and PASS sessions, students are provided with course-specific learning and study strategies like note-taking, test-taking, reading skills, and more while also engaging in structured review and study time with a group of their peers.
The goal of our SLA and PASS programs is to help students build foundational knowledge and skills that will improve their course performance and help retain them through graduation.
What is a Facilitator?
SLA and PASS facilitators are academically successful students who have taken and excelled in the course they facilitate and are recommended by faculty. Once a facilitator is hired, they receive training on guiding productive group study sessions. For SLA, facilitators attend all class sessions and participate as a traditional student in the course (they do not for PASS). Facilitators also regularly meet with professors to help plan activities for the weekly sessions to ensure course goals are being followed.
What are the Benefits?
Enrollment in SLA and PASS is voluntary, but the additional, structured support help students achieve higher grades in difficult gateway courses and also provides a great learning community for you to meet people in your program and maintain study relationships. Students who attend weekly group study sessions can generally expect a final course grade between one half and one whole letter grade higher than those who never attend, as well as having a deeper understanding of course content and learned study skills.