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Becoming a PAL leader

Become a PAL leader

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Leaders are students who help other students successfully navigate difficult classes.  PAL leaders plan and run collaborative group study sessions for targeted courses, which they have already passed with a B+ or higher. PAL Leaders meet weekly with their faculty partner (instructor of the course) and meet regularly with the PAL Program coordinator for ongoing training and support.  PAL Leaders are paid and typically work 6 to 9 hours per week.

What are PAL Leaders expected to do?

  • Attend the course lectures
  • Conduct 2 to 3 one-hour PAL study sessions per week
  • Promote the PAL study sessions in person, through emails, etc.
  • Answer student emails
  • Record and report attendance for all PAL study sessions (needed for program assessment)
  • Help students develop time management, communication, study, and advocacy skills to promote academic success and broader conceptual understanding within course
  • Work with faculty partner to prepare handouts with questions/examples or other materials to be covered during the PAL session
  • Update weekly PAL agenda on the class myCourses page
  • Attend all scheduled meetings with PAL Program coordinator and faculty partner
  • Model their own approach and strategies for academic success
  • Work 6 to 9 hours per week for the PAL program throughout the semester

What are the benefits of being a PAL Leader?

  • Develop leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Strengthen relationship with course faculty (which may help with references or recommendations)
  • Work experience on your resume
  • Reinforce and build upon your own knowledge of course content
  • Help other students achieve academic success
  • Work with an engaged cohort of fellow PAL Leaders
  • Schedule your work around your classes
  • Earn money (hourly rates begin at $17/hour and increase for multiple semesters of service)

Position Requirements

  • Enrolled full-time student at UMassD
  • Recommendation from departmental faculty member or chair (can be verbal)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Received a B+ or better in the course(s) you intend to support
  • Complete required 6-hour training session (paid)
  • Willingness to learn new skills, to work with diverse campus population, and to approach their work with empathy and understanding
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good organizational and time management skills
  • A commitment to helping other students learn
  • Schedule availability to support intended courses

To be considered a PAL Leader:

  • Submit your resume and cover letter to the department chair and PAL program coordinator.
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