Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS)

The University of Mary Washington has recently received grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase the recruitment and retention of students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses.  At UMW we are specifically targeting science and mathematics programs.  One of the grant initiatives is to incorporate supplemental instruction (Peer-Assisted Study Sessions – PASS) into selected sections of introductory STEM course sequences that can serve as “gate way” courses to the STEM majors.  The program utilizes the methods of Supplemental Instruction, first developed at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1973.

The PASS program provides peer-facilitated study sessions led by qualified and trained undergraduate leaders who attend the lectures with students and encourage students to practice and discuss course concepts. PASS sessions are open to all students who want to improve their understanding of the material, as well as their grades. Each session will focus on the most recent material covered in class or provide review before exams.  Please note these sessions are not tutoring but rather opportunities to compare class notes, review and discuss important concepts, develop appropriate strategies for studying, and prepare for exams. Attendance is free and voluntary. Your instructor will not be informed by the PASS leader if you attend the sessions.  Attendance will be recorded for evaluation purposes for reporting to the NSF, however. PASS sessions are targeted to the students enrolled in specific sections but are not exclusively for those students. Any questions, contact Dr. Venitta McCall (

PASS Sessions in Spring 2019