FAQ for Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is PASS?

Peer Academic Support Service (PASS) tutoring is a peer-facilitated group-study session exclusively for a specific course. It is designed to help students learn the course material and become independent learners.

PASS tutors are dedicated to a course and its professor throughout the semester. The PASS tutors attend 1-2 class sessions per week and get to meet all the students during class time. PASS tutors offer tutoring sessions twice a week (in-person and/or online). Tutors and professors collaborate to determine which topics will be most useful to focus on each week.

2. Can I have a PASS tutor for my online class?

PASS tutors can be assigned to any type of class: LRON, Hybrid, Traditional, Online, etc. Reach out to the Learning Commons Coordinator if you have a non-traditional class and you’re unsure about how to implement PASS.

3. Why PASS?

Research tells us that active and collaborative learning helps students better understand material covered in class. PASS is structured to provide time for students to practice and engage with the material in an interactive and fun way. Due to the structure of PASS, studies show that one 60-minutes session is equivalent to students studying on their own for 2 hours! 1

4. Who are the PASS tutors?

PASS tutors are students at NCC who have successfully completed the course you are teaching with a B or better. Although they have completed the course already, they continue to attend your class with the students, take notes, and communicate directly with you to discuss their tutoring sessions and what they are hearing from students regarding the material.

5. What is the role of the PASS tutor in my class?

PASS tutors will attend your class and use what is being covered to plan and facilitate group tutoring sessions outside of class. In the tutoring sessions, tutors focus on material that students are finding challenging and the foundational principles to help ensure student mastery before the next topic or unit.

6. Are PASS tutors Teaching Assistants or Supplemental Instructors?

No. PASS tutors cannot proctor tests, substitute in an instructor’s absence, grade papers, assignments or quizzes, teach new content, enforce classroom disciplinary policies, or act as a teaching assistant to faculty.

7. What will my partnership with PASS look like?

Faculty members who partner with our Peer Academic Support Services are asked to promote and encourage their students to attend PASS sessions early and frequently throughout the semester. Faculty should establish weekly communication with the PASS tutor and communicate with the Learning Commons Coordinator as needed.

Some professors use academic incentives to increase PASS tutoring session engagement and participation, but this is 100% up to the faculty member.

8. How can I request a PASS tutor for my class?

Contact Alexis Pantello to request a PASS tutor for your class or complete the Tutor Recommendation form to recommend a potential PASS tutor.

[1] Johnson, D. W. (1991). Cooperative Learning: Increasing College Faculty Instructional Productivity. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 4, 1991. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183.