Frequently Asked Questions by Faculty
The Miner Learning Center targets historically difficult courses, meaning the course contains information that students consider to be challenging. The MLC academic support services are designed to support faculty teaching and are assigned to a subject because of what is being taught, not because of the manner in which it is being taught.
PASS and Tutoring services are not intended to create additional work for faculty. The faculty member is asked to recommend a potential PASS Leader/Peer Tutor, students who have recently been successful in the course. After the selection of a PASS Leader/Peer Tutor, the faculty member is asked to support the MLC by maintaining a working relationship with the PASS Leader/Peer Tutor throughout the semester.
You can also support PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors by allowing them to use extra textbooks you may have, granting time for in-class announcements, and meeting with your PASS Leader/Peer Tutor once a week to discuss content, upcoming exams, session and student progress, and any other additional questions or concerns. You can support the program by encouraging all students to take advantage of PASS and Tutoring sessions.
At the end of the semester, a full grade comparison report will be provided to the faculty member. All Pass Leaders/Peer Tutors are required to sign a confidentiality statement and understand and accept the responsibility to preserve the confidentiality of privileged information.
We also encourage you to contact us with questions, feedback, or concerns. Additionally, we may be in contact with you about assisting in selecting and approving future PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors for your subject.
The Miner Learning Center will:
- Place PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors only in courses with the approval of the cooperating faculty member.
- Train all PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors according to established guidelines and standards set forth by the University of Missouri, Kansas City as well as standards from the International Tutor Training Program Certification granted by the College Reading & Learning Association.
- Monitor the activities and presentations of PASS Leaders/Peer Tutor for as long as necessary by helping plan sessions and supervising their performance.
- Provide supplies, training, in-service experiences and consultations for PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors.
- The MLC targets high-risk courses rather than high-risk students.
- All students enrolled in MLC supported courses are invited and encouraged to attend – not just those who are struggling.
- PASS and Tutoring sessions start with the first day of classes and continues to the end of term.
- Studies show that students of all academic and learning abilities and levels benefit from participating in PASS and tutoring sessions and earn on average a half to full letter grade higher than those who do not participate.
PASS and Tutoring sessions are peer to peer focused. The dynamic of the PASS sessions changes immediately when an authority figure enters the classroom. The tone of the session, along with the behavior of the students alters and the focus shifts to the instructor and away from the PASS Leader/Peer Tutor and the collaborative learning environment. Therefore, instructors who are curious about the content of sessions are encouraged to communicate with their assigned PASS Leader/Peer Tutor.
Pass Leaders/Peer Tutors help students process course material by encouraging critical thinking, questioning and probing, and leading discussions. PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors are trained to facilitate group sessions that follow class lectures, therefore they are encouraged to seek a balance between student-directedness with guidance and sharing content knowledge without re-lecturing. The professor first delivers course content and then the PASS leader/Peer Tutor helps students process the information.
Moreover, they act as model students by exhibiting successful learning behavior and strategies. They attend class punctually and regularly; they are attentive and take notes while sitting in on class lectures. Prior to conducting sessions, PASS Leaders must have taken and received high grades for the course. Additionally, they are required to undergo MLC training at the beginning of and through the course of the semester, during which they gain an understanding of teaching and learning styles and strategies.
The PASS Leader/Peer Tutor will:
- Attend all class meetings.
- Maintain a professional attitude about matters such as class standards, grades, and student complaints.
- Discourage students from attending PASS sessions as a substitute for class meetings.
- Share PASS materials with the cooperating faculty member before use, if possible.
- Provide feedback to the cooperating faculty member if requested to do so.
The PASS Leader/Peer Tutor will not:
- Grade assignments, homework, exams, etc.
- Lecture or fill in as a substitute teacher for the instructor.
Participating faculty members provide their assigned tutor with a textbook and other necessary materials.
Here are some things that faculty members have done in the past to help encourage students to attend PASS and Tutor sessions:
- Include information about the MLC in their course syllabi
- Posting announcements on Blackboard about PASS and Tutor sessions
- Adding their PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors on Blackboard, so that they can connect with students
- Announcing MLC results and encouraging students to attend sessions
If you are interested in learning more about the MLC at UTEP, and incorporating MLC Academic Support into your department, course, or program, please contact: Vanessa Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty PASS Leader/Peer Tutor Recommendation and/or Request
Recommend a student to be a PASS Leader/Peer Tutor and/or Request a PASS Leader/Peer Tutor for a course
The Recommend and/or Request Form must be completed to recommend a student to be a PASS Leader/Peer Tutor and/or to request a PASS Leader/Peer Tutor for a course. By filling out and submitting the form, you are recommending the student(s) for the role of PASS Leader/Peer Tutor.
All PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors must receive a recommendation from a professor, complete an application, and attend an interview before any offer of employment can be extended.
PASS Leader/Peer Tutor Recommendations:
Any student being recommended to be a PASS Leader/Peer Tutor must meet the following criteria:
- Have a Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- The student must have previously taken the specific course and have received a grade of “B” or higher.
PASS Leader/Peer Tutor Requests:
Requests for PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors are accepted on an ongoing basis but faculty are highly encouraged to submit their request no later than April (for fall semester support) and no later than October (for spring semester support). This gives the center ample time to thoroughly conduct interviews and training before the start of the semester.
- The MLC gives precedence to historically difficult courses with enrollment of at least 50 students.
- Requests for PASS Leaders/Peer Tutors do not guarantee the placement of the MLC Academic Support in a course