ERIC Number: ED355995
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
American River College Beacon Project: Student Catalyst Program - Peer Assisted Learning. First Semester Summary Report.
American River Coll., Sacramento, CA.
The Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Project at American River College (ARC) in Sacramento, California, was developed to improve retention rates among underrepresented students in math and science classes with high dropout rates. The project involved a group of 24 paid student Learning Assistants (LA's) who successfully completed the targeted courses and underwent a training program in small group peer assisted learning. The LA's met for 3 hours each week throughout the semester with a group of between two to six students, met weekly with the course faculty member to discuss student progress, and also met with one another to share their experiences. As part of the project, representatives from 10 "associate" colleges in central and northern California participated in the development and evaluation of the PAL, and received copies of all materials generated. To evaluate the program, focus groups were held with 15 LA's, 12 faculty members, and 32 study group students; pre- and post-semester surveys were administered to tutored and non-tutored students; and course grades and retention rates were examined. Highlighted findings included the following: (1) among students, 69% reported that the sessions were quite, very, or extremely helpful, and another 12% said they were helpful; (2) faculty reported that LA's were very helpful and brought students to an improved level of course performance; (3) LA's reported improved knowledge of the subject area, and a greater feeling of connection to the college; and (4) while tutored students reported lower high school grade point averages than non-tutored students, they performed as well or better than non-tutored students in project courses. (PAA)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Community Colleges, Discussion Groups, High Risk Students, Mathematics Education, Minority Groups, Peer Counseling, Peer Teaching, Program Descriptions, Program Evaluation, School Holding Power, Science Education, Small Group Instruction, Student Attitudes, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; American Association of Community Colleges, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American River Coll., Sacramento, CA.