Information for Academic Staff
PASS originated in a program created by Deanna C. Martin, Ph.D, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1973, called supplemental instruction or SI. Dr. Martin was assigned the task initially, of decreasing the attrition rate of minority students in the schools of medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry.
SI and PASS operate internationally and have centres in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, South Africa and Sweden. PASS is a free, voluntary opportunity for all students enrolled in a course where PASS is offered.
PASS is facilitated by PASS Leaders. PASS Leaders are current students who have demonstrated academic competency in the course and are trained in group facilitation tools and techniques.
Students who participate in PASS will:
- Learn how-to-learn while learning what-to-learn.
- Work collaboratively with their peers in a facilitated environment as opposed to a teaching environment.
- Receive support from a trained PASS Leader.
Key Elements of PASS
- PASS identifies perceived as difficult courses, rather than high risk students; PASS is not a remedial academic program.
- PASS provides an opportunity for students to learn how to learn while learning what to learn.
- Participation in PASS is voluntary, free and open to all students in the course.
- PASS Leaders are encouraged (and paid) to retain currency in their courses by attending lectures and meeting with Course Coordinators.
- PASS Leaders are trained in group facilitation methods, not teaching techniques.
- The PASS program is supervised and managed by an accredited PASS Supervisor.
- PASS begins the 3rd week of classes after tutorial schedules have settled down.
- PASS Leaders facilitate and encourage the group to process material. PASS Leaders are not considered experts in their courses and they do not re-lecture or re-teach participants.
- PASS Leaders do not assist students with assessment tasks, they may however encourage group discussion about how best to approach assessment tasks and redirect students to their tutor, lecturer or course coordinator.
Research about PASS
Data collected by the Centre for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 719 institutions in the United States and 146 institutions in twelve other countries demonstrates two key findings:
- Students participating in PASS earn higher course grades and withdraw less often than non-PASS participants.
- The more sessions a student attends, the higher the final course grade (Iowa State University, Academic Success Centre, accessed 4 March 2009, http://www.dso.iastate.edu/asc/supplemental/faculty.html).