Training for PAL Facilitators
Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) facilitators are well-prepared before they enter the classroom. Prior to each semester, facilitators undergo training built on the extensive experience of the International Supplemental Instruction Program and the research of Dr. David Arendale. The two-day fall semester training and one-day spring semester training sessions emphasize cooperative learning theory, cultural competency, modeling productive learning behaviors, and understanding group dynamics.
Throughout the semester, teams of facilitators meet weekly to share strategies and activities that promote student interaction and the integration of study skills during the PAL session. Facilitators observe each other in the classroom to provide supportive coaching. In addition, the PAL director observes each facilitator at least once a semester to improve and evaluate their facilitation skills.
The PAL program is certified by the College Reading and Learning Association, as are individual facilitators, for Level I, and for Level II, the latter which requires additional hours of training, service, and completion of the course OUE 3050 - Introduction to Peer Education. The course focuses on such topics as classroom assessment techniques, social interdependence theory, metacognitive knowledge, and self-regulated learning. The PAL experience provides undergraduate facilitators with valuable para-professional skills such as leadership, time management, assertiveness, problem-solving, and team work.
Training for Peer Tutors
Our training curriculum has earned the highest possible certification (level 3) of the College Reading and Learning Association. Peer Tutors are educated in a variety of topics before and during service, including: consulting ethics, communication skills, goal setting, effective questioning, critical thinking and learning preferences. These topics are covered through interactive workshops, online assignments, and experiential learning opportunities. Workshops are facilitated in collaboration with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence Instructional Center, Northstar Stem Alliance, Multicultural Family Literacy Program, Peer Research Consultants, and McNamara Academic Center.
Advanced Peer Tutors take Introduction to Peer Education (OUE 3050), offered through the University of Minnesota Office of Undergraduate Education. This course introduces students to relevant educational theories, models, and history to inform their practice as peer educators. The goal of this course is to provide a theoretical and historical background useful to approaching tutoring, session planning, and group facilitation.
SMART Hours & Locations
Looking for group study space?
Rooms in SMART's Walter and Magrath locations can be reserved for two-hour blocks up to two weeks in advance.