Become a Facilitator

PAL Facilitators are student leaders of our Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) courses. PAL courses have curricular structure that encourages cross-year support between students in science and math gateway courses. PAL courses encourage students to support each other and to learn co-operatively under the guidance of trained students, called PAL Facilitators, who have successfully completed the same course.

Potential PAL Facilitators have the opportunity to shadow current facilitators during the Spring semester in order to try out the position before applying. Space is limited for this, and shadowing interest is taken beginning November. More information can be found on the shadowing page.

For more information please contact Jen Lundmark at lundmark@csus.edu

Perks of Becoming a Facilitator 

Facilitator smiling with an info board

Knowledge
Many facilitators did not necessarily achieve the highest grade for the PAL class they facilitate. The facilitators know what it is like to struggle and to feel like giving up; after all, they are students just like you! They kept trying and now they are here to help other students succeed.
PAL helps students fully understand core gateway and upper division classes by working through problems with students and building self-confidence. As a result, the facilitator learns new ways to approach problems and explain core concepts, which helps build their knowledge of the course.
School related, self-reported, benefits of facilitating include more confidence, asking leading questions, finding better ways to study and retain information, how to form study groups and how to prepare for class.

“I have gained better understanding of the subject I am a facilitator for and thus allows me to understand my own flaws as a student.”

“PAL has allowed me to experience different types of learning strategies.”

“PAL has allowed me to observe the common habits that cause students to underperform, and I can adjust my own habits to optimize the effectiveness of my study habits.”

“Overall, it taught me how to become more effective in my studies.”

Facilitator helping studentsProfessional Development
As each facilitator stands at the front of the classroom, not only does their knowledge and confidence improve, but, so does their professionalism. Facilitators have reported significant growth in leadership, public speaking, problem solving, and time management. Most importantly, the facilitators’ report that the skill learned as a result of serving as a facilitator are 100% transferrable to other parts of their lives.

“I have gained better pubic speaking and problem solving skills I can take with me to any job. “

“Being a PAL facilitator takes a lot of leadership, a positive and growing mindset, as well as a great amount of discipline.”

“I can present ideas and communicate to people in a way that is more professional, scaffolding helps with the interviewing process.”

“PAL has helped me to perfect my ability to multi-task which will be essential to success in a post graduate degree program.”
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Research
Each facilitator will conduct research during their year serving as a facilitator. The fall semester will be spent learning about different topics to research and developing the methodology. The spring semester is spent conducting the research, gathering data, and preparing to present the results. Depending on the hypothesis chosen, the facilitators will form groups to help produce the best results possible.
Due to the previous exceptional research projects, our facilitators have been able to help develop the program by finding out what our students need to be successful in the lecture courses. Furthermore, many facilitators have been able to present their research findings at various educational and professional development conferences across disciplines.

“PAL has prepared me by helping me discover my interest in research.”

“It has given me an insight on education research and pedagogical methods in general.”

“I gained firsthand experience with research including data gathering and analysis.”

“The research aspect has also shown me the process of conducting and producing research, which I did not know prior to PAL.”

“I have been given the opportunity to perform research and present my research at conferences.”

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What The Facilitators Say

Daisy, PAL Mascot

"As a facilitator, I've had the pleasure of working with many different types of students, and I've learned different ways to motivate them and help them see the good in math, a very disliked subject. This program has definitely helped me improve my leadership, communication, and time management skills, all of which will be very important for my career path." -Angelica Sippel

"I have gained so much fron the program since I started as student for pal and now the facilitator is has been a priveledge to see many students smile and thank me when they do so well in class because of pal. And for those who dont carry that smile because of a test failure I make sure to keep them in the game until the last pitch because hard work can pay off in the end." -Christian Sanchez

"It really satisfies me to see my students smile and meet others who are struggling in Anatomy. Hearing them make plans to study and hang outside of class makes me feel like I've done my part. It's definitely hard to remember all of the concepts and not being able to answer my students hurts me. But I am still learning and I also am a student who is trying to improve each day. We're all in this together and no one judges each other for their performance. We're just trying our best to help each other succeed in such a challenging science course and college overall. " - Venus Villadelgado

"I have learned how to approach people who are struggling. When I am facing a challenging moment personally, I am able to recognize that there is no way I am the only one in that situation. When I first took Chem 1A and heard how difficult it was, I looked for other students to team up with, and the PAL program was there with the community I needed. Having the excuse to work on course material with other students, and now being able to help provide that excuse for new students has made experience at Sac State successful." - George Brown