Having a Peer Academic Leader (PAL) in your school can increase student retention and academic performance. The PAL can also help improve student social development and create a positive learning environment.
Increase academic performance
Identifying and acquiring a peer academic leader position, as experienced by Zoe Reardon, can enhance your academic performance. Typically, this is a merit-based position. As an academic peer leader, you will receive training in student leadership and academic support. You will also have the opportunity to apply your skills in the classroom and the wider learning environment. In return, you will be paid an hourly wage. This compensation is based on your overall CGPA (cumulative grade point average). In addition, you will be invited to participate in the student body and receive leadership training and mentoring. Research has shown several mechanisms for peer appraisal of academic competence. These include self-perception, the presence of a mentor, and the prevalence of teachers who are good at evaluating and supporting students’ academic efforts. Understanding these mechanisms can help minimize the effects of peer appraisal on student achievement.
Increase the feeling of belonging
Increasing students’ feeling of belonging is a vital part of academic success. It increases students’ engagement and helps reduce stress. Research suggests that students who feel they belong at school are less likely to worry about their academic performance. They are also more likely to perform well on standardized tests and to maintain a high-grade point average. One strategy for increasing students’ sense of belonging is to create an environment in which they feel a strong connection with other students. In addition to relationships with peers, adults can create conditions for belonging. For example, adults can ensure that students have a supportive adult in school. This individual should be someone with whom the student has a strong connection, someone they like, know and can trust.
Increase social development
Become a Peer Academic Leader (PAL) and reap the benefits of mentoring and fostering social connections with other academics on your campus. The benefits go beyond the classroom and extend into the community at large. The biggest draw is the chance to rub elbows with your peers, which can lead to new ideas, insights, and recommendations. A socially aware faculty translates to greater productivity and a higher quality student experience. Peer Academic Leaders are only for some, however. Recruiting aspiring collegiate wranglers takes time and patience, so be sure to allocate some time to cultivating the next generation of thinkers. While you’re at it, consider a community service learning class. This isn’t the typical lecture-style class but a peer-to-peer exchange where students are challenged to think critically and solve problems independently. Peer Academic Leaders are in the business of fostering collaboration among peers and faculty and helping students to find their path to success.
Help students become successful
Getting involved as an academic peer leader can be a great way to help students become successful. The position provides opportunities for students to act as mentors, help develop campus resources, and learn more about the university. Peer academic leaders work to prepare students for success by guiding them in various activities, including learning consolidation sessions, daytime and evening study skills sessions, advising sessions, and small group activities. They also provide support to fellow students, faculty, and staff. Peer Academic Leaders have been trained in mentoring skills and can assist students in their transition to UH. They also work as advocates for new students and first-generation students. They can help students develop a strong sense of community and a rich network of resources.
Developing and scaling best practices in student retention can help institutions increase student persistence and success. The use of peer academic leaders in a comprehensive retention strategy ties directly to the institution’s goals. Peer-cooperative learning has been shown to improve student success in gateway courses. However, it requires a significant amount of infrastructure development. One of the essential benefits of peer academic leadership is connecting students with highly-performing peers. This is a great benefit for everyone involved. In addition to connecting students with peers, it also allows teachers to work with at-risk students.