P.A.S.S Offers Pathway towards Student Success

Story By: Anthony De Leon, Reporter

In its location in LI-142, the Peer Assisted Study Session, better known as the P.A.S.S program, is jam packed with students and tutors.

The center creates an atmosphere that is not seen in other student-assisted programs on campus. Established by Jennifer Dorian, the program offers help through supplemental instruction and hybrid tutoring for English, EMLS, linguistics, literature and ASL.

“Our goal is to uplift the lives of students across campus,” Dorian said.

Dorian has implemented a system that goes the extra mile in order to achieve a high rate of success for students. It offers a drop-in service on campus and off campus students have the ability to talk to tutors by calling or chatting online through a 24-hour assistance service.

Also provided are numerous workshops for English classes and E.D.T.P or English Placement Test Prep run by certified student tutors.

Another person who helps to keep things running smoothly is Thais Bueno-Nielsen. who has helped implement numerous aspects of the P.A.S.S program.  Bueno-Nielsen and Dorian are very proud of what they refer to as the “Collective Mind.”

“The Collective Mind is a system set up where the tutors attend the classes and upload their notes to a cloud-based file on a weekly basis,” Bueno-Nielsen said. “Any tutor and student can access the info that has been specifically tailored for them.”

The tutors are referred to as “Embedded Tutors” and have certification in E.A.S.E training which stands for Empathy, Awareness, and Sensitivity for Equality. Their training is meant to prepare them to handle any students needs. P.A.S.S has tutors in every English class, which is over 100 classes throughout Fresno City College.

“We have tutors that a connected with students to match the needs of the students,” Dorian said.

Qualified tutors are a must when helping nearly 20,000 students a semester. Since its inception, the P.A.S.S program has seen a steady rise in attendance and that rise has continued this year.

According to Dorian, PASS has seen nearly 50,000 students so far this year; most of the attendance has been helped by word of mouth.

“We have had very little publicity, but out attendance is way above the national average,” Dorian said. “We’d like to be one of the best programs on campus.”

In addition to the P.A.S.S center downstairs, the program has another room upstairs in LI-204 that offers more of a group setting with students who are in the same classes and offers much more to students.

“Upstairs, we have the brain food program set up where students can get snacks while studying,” said Dorian.

All snacks that are provided to students are free. In addition, the program also offers free printing, scantrons, and take-home USB flash drives for those who don’t have internet access at home and need to finish up their work.

With the goal of uplifting students, P.A.S.S is constantly devising new ways to help students each semester.  Last semester, the program implemented  a yard sale-style clothing giveaway known as the P.A.S.S closet. The P.A.S.S received a great deal of donations to help students.

“Every semester we try to meet the student’s needs,” Dorian said.

With all that P.A.S.S offers as a program, the most important part is that the people involved in the program care about the success of the students.

Dorian said it’s important that students take advantage of all P.A.S.S has to offer, “Students who take advantage of P.A.S.S achieve more success than those who don’t.”