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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Center for High Impact Practice Receives International Certification for Supplemental Instruction Program

By Lisa Moser

The Center for High Impact Practices (CHIP) has received a three-year certification from the International Center for Supplemental Instruction (ICSI) for its Peer-Assisted Study Sessions program. ODU is the first institution in the Commonwealth to obtain this certification. PASS consists of weekly, interactive, group study sessions facilitated by student PASS Leaders, who have previously done well in the course.

The U.S. Department of Education has validated claims that student participation in supplemental instruction is associated with higher average course grades, lower instances of student failures and withdrawals, and increased retention and graduation rates.

The PASS program began spring 2012 with only five peer leaders supporting 5 course sections in business and sociology. Since then, the program has grown to support 16 PASS leaders, 25 course sections, and over 2,000 students in business, biology, history, and sociology.

"I am very proud of all that our PASS Program has accomplished and feel that this certification designation is an opportunity to recognize the great work of our entire PASS team, especially our talented PASS leaders," said Jenn Grimm, director of the Peer Educator Program. "They work hard to plan and facilitate sessions where students can enjoy learning from and alongside their peers. Our faculty and administrative partners also are truly committed to helping students succeed in the classroom and beyond. Our data shows semester after semester that our efforts are really paying off - PASS really does help students pass challenging classes."

With oversight from Lisa Moser, PASS coordinator, the program has shown great success for students who take advantage of the support. The data show a direct correlation between attendance and student grades; specifically, students who participate in PASS sessions weekly are predicted to earn at least half a letter grade higher in the course compared to those who do not attend sessions. Lisa Mayes, executive director of the Center for High Impact Practices, attributes this success to the staff, student leaders, and faculty.

"PASS is one of our signature programs in CHIP," she said. "It allows our faculty and students to work together in support of academic success. It's a win-win for the faculty teaching the courses, the PASS leaders developing their skills, and the students taking the courses that may need help to succeed."

ICSI acknowledged PASS for its overwhelming support and appreciation from partnering faculty and the hard work of the student PASS leaders. A representative from the International Center stated, "These practices will ensure that the students at Old Dominion continue to see the value in attending PASS sessions." CHIP's PASS Program will receive international recognition of the program, certification of PASS leaders, discounted SI training resources and more.

More information about ODU's PASS Program can be found at www.odu.edu/peereducator/pass. The International Center for Supplemental Instruction, University of Missouri-KC can be found at http://info.umkc.edu/si/.

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