PAL Programs

If you have any questions, please contact Elana Geller, Peer Assisted Learning Coordinator at

Peer Mentors can play a lead role in one of the following academic student support initiatives:

Learning Communities

As a Learning Communities (LC) Peer Mentor, you have the opportunity to mentor a group of first-year or residence or interest based students, helping them navigate their transition to university and prepare them for a successful academic career. In collaboration with your co-Peer Mentor, you will lead and facilitate dynamic weekly meetings with a group of students who are enrolled in a set of common courses or live in residence or are interested in a common theme or issue. These students will learn together, support each other, develop learning strategies and skills, and collaborate on and make connections between their courses (and their world) as an academic community. LC Peer Mentors also have opportunities for one-on-one interaction and collaboration with U of S faculty, instructors, and alumni. Additionally, you will be supported and mentored by—and maintain regular communications with—LC and ULC staff.

In collaboration with ULC staff, LC Peer Mentors are responsible for preparing and delivering information on effective study strategies, facilitating group study sessions, introducing guest speakers, initiating discussions, modeling learning strategies, and—most importantly—mentoring and building their community.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • LC meeting (LC staff & LC Peer Mentors): 1 hr/week
  • LC Hour (meeting with LC students & LC Peer Mentors): 1 hr/week
  • Meeting with co-Peer Mentor, content preparation, attendance data, online updates and research: 2.5 to 3 hrs/week


Library Skills

Library Skills Peer Mentors work with the U of S library staff along with the University Learning Centre to introduce students to the library system and help them develop basic library skills. Basic library skills include conducting searches in the library's catalogue and databases, accessing and retrieving materials at the library, and using library research tools. Library Skills Peer Mentors will have the chance to develop leadership skills by working one to one with students and/or leading small support sessions or workshops.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (ULC staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Library Skills group meeting: 1 hr/week
  • Content preparation, drop-in office and programming hours: 2 to 4 hrs/week


Structured Study Sessions

Structured Study Session (SSS) Peer Mentors run weekly study sessions in some of the larger more challenging introductory courses, helping students identify important concepts covered during lectures and provide exercises and sample problems for students to solve. SSS Peer Mentors will have recently completed the class they support and act as a guide in study sessions where a collaborative approach to learning is taken. The role of a SSS Peer Mentor is to support and help motivate students to learn in a study group format, ideally strengthening a student’s performance in the course and study skills, and are not expected to provide one-to-one tutoring support or teach/re-teach course material. Students applying to this program must have a final grade of 80% or above in the class they will support.

It is anticipated that we will need SSS Peer Mentors in 100 level classes in the following subject areas: Math, Economics and Physics.

Time Commitment (5-10 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (ULC staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • SSS Program Meeting (SSS Coordinator & SSS Peer Mentors) : 1 hour every other week
  • Lecture Attendance: 3 hrs/week
  • Offer Structured Study Sessions: 3 hrs/week
  • Content preparation, office hour and online updates: 2 hrs/week


Study Skills Program

Peer Mentors working with the Study Skills Program design and lead small-group workshops in a variety of topics in study skills, including learning styles, how to manage one's time, and preparing for and writing university exams. Study Skills Peer Mentors also provide on-line and in-person support to students with study skills, referrals and transitioning to university.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (ULC staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Study Skills Program Meeting (SS Coordinator & SS Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Workshops: 5-6 per term
  • Content preparation and online updates: 3 to 4 hrs per workshop topic
  • Online and in-person support: approximately 1 hr/week


Tech Help

The Tech Help Peer mentorship program is a partnership between Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and the University Learning Centre (ULC). Tech Help Peer Mentors work within the expansive, exciting and evolving world of technology. Tech Peers prepare and lead small-group workshops in a variety of technology-related topics. The goal of Tech Help Peer Mentors is to increase “tech-literacy” across campus.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (ULC staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Tech Help Program Meeting (with ULC Tech Help Coordinator): 1 hour every other week
  • Workshops 
  • Content preparation and Blogging: 1 to 2 hours/week

Writing Help

There is a range of options for Writing Help Peer Mentors: developing and delivering workshops or group writing sessions; researching and reporting on writing centre best practices; developing online resources; assisting with program assessment; helping students in the Writing Centre; or collaborating with Library Peer Mentors to deliver workshops or other programming.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (ULC staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Content preparation, office hour and online updates, and, if applicable, workshop delivery and/or helping students at the writing centre: 3 hrs/week
  • Writing Help program meeting: 1 hour every other week (alternating with PAL meetings)


If you would like additional information on a PAL Peer Mentor position, please stop by the University Learning Centre or send an email to: