16 UK and Irish HE colleges participate in PASS conference
Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) scheme helps first years adapt to third-level
Date Article Written:
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Over 50 student leaders from the UK and Ireland, representing 16 Higher Education Institutes, attended a national PASS Leader Conference in Galway hosted by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT). Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) is an internationally recognised programme designed to help first year students cope better with the transition from second to third-level.
GMIT first developed the PASS programme in 2009, having adopted it in consultation with Bournemouth University, The University of Manchester and the International Supplemental Instruction Centre, Manchester.
PASS aims to make the first year experience a very positive one for new students. It encourages first year students to support each other and learn co-operatively under the guidance of a trained student (Student Leader) from the second, third or fourth year of their programme. Its success has seen it grow substantially over the past number of years and it is now offered to first years studying all disciplines in GMIT.
Student Leaders are trained facilitators with excellent leadership and communication skills. In GMIT student leaders undertake a PASS Leadership module in addition to their normal programme of study and are awarded five credits for completing the module. Forty-five GMIT students graduated as PASS Leaders in November and were presented with special purpose awards at a formal college reception. Currently over 100 trained GMIT student leaders facilitate study sessions on a weekly basis with first years on some 32 programmes in the Institute.
GMIT Business lecturer and Academic co-ordinator of the PASS programme, Evelyn Moylan, says PASS has become a great success and hosting the National PASS Leader Conference was an excellent networking opportunity for all the student leaders in the 16 UK and Irish colleges.
“It was an opportunity for them to meet, share experiences and ideas, and develop ties with their counterparts in other third-level institutes. It included a range of activities, workshops and talks designed to support the student leaders with the development of their communication, groupwork and creativity skills.”
UK and Irish students pictured at the PASS Leaders Conference in GMIT with GMIT academic and administrative staff. Colleges included Bournemouth University, University of Exeter, University of Bradford, University of Manchester, Sheffield Hallam University, Queen Mary, University of London, Plymouth University, University of Ulster, University of West of England, University of Brighton, GMIT, Athlone IT, NUIG, and UCD.