PAL: Peer Support for Student Success
What Is Peer Assisted Learning?
PAL is a pilot program in the Social Sciences and Humanities Division. It's based on research that shows students who receive supplemental instruction or individual tutoring are more likely to successfully complete their courses.
The PAL program offers peer support and tutoring for students in selected classes, in three ways:
- Supplemental instruction: Specially trained students host regular study sessions for their peers outside class, using collaborative methods to ensure interaction.
- In-class tutoring: Trained peer tutors are available to assist fellow students during class.
- Peer academic coaching: Peer tutors work one-on-one with individual students throughout the quarter.
PAL tutors serve as a liaison between students and instructors. They offer support in a non-intimidating setting and can help students learn new or difficult material, while helping instructors gain a better understanding of students’ needs.
How Do Students Become Tutors?
PAL peer tutors are paid an hourly rate. They must
- Have a GPA of at least 3.0
- Have already taken or be currently taking the course for which they will work as a tutor
- Receive training in effective tutoring techniques AND in FERPA rules governing confidentiality of student information
- Commit to spend at least 10 hours per week in tutoring sessions, course meetings, planning and meeting with the course instructor
Interested in Becoming a Tutor?
Who Can I Contact for More Information?
For more information, please contact
Instructor and PAL program coordinator
Each PAL student tutor is assigned to an instructor and specific section of a course.
American Government and Politics
- Instructor: Nicky Yuen
- PAL tutor: Isabella (Izzy) Scotti
Isabella “Izzy” Scotti is a freshman studying Political Science with plans to transfer. After taking her first politics class at De Anza and learning about the many injustices that are still present in our world today, she knew she was passionate about making real, positive change in her community.
In her free time, she likes to play music on a variety of instruments, create personalized mix tapes, assist her father in his restaurant business, and drink excessive amounts of coffee.
- Instructor: Lori Clinchard
- PAL tutor: Nida Sarraj
My name is Nida and I have been a student at De Anza for one year as a Biological Sciences major. I have tutored for about a year and I look forward to supporting other students as a peer assistant.
I hope to create a positive and open learning environment that fosters a unique learning experience.
Intro to Administration of Justice
- Instructor: James Suits
- PAL tutor: Alice Boyer Tien
Hello, my name is Alice Boyer Tien. I am a mother of two children and manager of my child's soccer team. I am also a returning student since 2020.
I was a social worker in France for many years. I worked mostly with the French juvenile court system but I was also involved in a nonprofit organization providing food and basic needs for homeless people.
My professional experience (in the US and in France) gave me the opportunity to think about how to feel yourself in the career you embrace. I am working on it again, thanks to De Anza College.
Introduction to Psychobiology
- Instructor: Shannon Hassett
- PAL tutor: Amy Van
Amy Van is a second-year student at De Anza College and plans to major in Psychobiology. As a current Psychobiology tutor, she enjoys sharing her passion of the sciences with all ages and helping others understand the reciprocal nature of biology and behavior.
Amy is an aspiring physician's assistant and plan to apply her psychobiology knowledge to assist others in the near future!
Principles of Macroeconomics
- Instructor: Ravjeet Singh
- PAL tutor: Fei He
My name is Fei He and I am from Shanghai, China. I had extensive experience in the marketing industry in China. I am currently majoring in business and plan to transfer to UC to continue pursuing my educational goals.
Principles of Microeconomics
- Instructor: Ravjeet Singh
- PAL tutor: Gurjot Cheema
My name is Gurjot Cheema and this is my first year at De Anza. I have taken both Micro and Macroeconomics and I am excited to help! I'm hoping to transfer and major in Computer Science/Data Science with applications in economics and business.
Teaching in Diverse Society
- Instructor: Jayanti Roy
- PAL tutor: Napua Martinez
Hello I am Napua Martinez, a third year student at De Anza. I am a child development major and will graduate in June with my associate degree. I plan to transfer to San José State in the near future but will still take classes at De Anza in the meantime.
I love art, makeup, crime shows, the beach, and hanging out with my friends and family.
- At DePaul University, students who attended at least six sessions of supplemental instruction had a course completion rate of 90%.
- At San Bernardino Valley College, students who received one-on-one tutoring had a success rate that was 7% higher than students who did not receive tutoring.