Please join us in attending this seminar discussing a new and successful peer mentoring scheme.
Peer Assisted Study Support in Mathematics at the University of Nottingham
Dr. Stephen Cox
Wednesday 18th May at 2 pm
JBL0C05 (Joseph Banks Laboratories)
PASS (Peer Assisted Study Support) is a new peer mentoring scheme which started in the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Nottingham in 2015-16. It provides support to around 275 first-year students through fortnightly, timetabled PASS sessions in both Autumn and Spring Terms. This talk will describe the PASS scheme, how it was set up, and the rewards that have followed from its introduction. The scheme was set up through a student-staff partnership involving the University’s Students as Change Agents programme. In PASS sessions, around a dozen first-year students are supported in their transition to university by three PASS Leaders, who are students in Years 2/3/4. PASS has proved remarkably popular with our students, and provides the PASS Leaders with valuable employability skills that are otherwise difficult to achieve on a Mathematics degree. PASS sessions cover those essential mathematical skills that pose particular challenges to our students, as well as a variety of general topics, including sources of support around the University, assessments, revision, extenuating circumstances, study skills. First-year students say “the best thing about PASS is the opportunity to speak to students who have already been through first year and ask them questions about student life in general as well as maths” and “the mentors can sympathise with the stuff we find hard, where a lecturer might not understand :)”. PASS Leaders say “as a result of being a PASS Leader, I would now feel more comfortable and willing to take on leadership roles”, “I get a great feeling explaining something to someone or showing somebody that the maths is really cool”. On the topic of employability skills, one PASS Leader wrote “these are skills that I have been able to use in job interviews by using PASS as an example [whereas] before this year I have been struggling to find examples of [using] these qualities in real life”.