PASS is a course-based mentoring scheme, run for students by students. It gives first-years the opportunity to discuss study-related problems and get general advice from higher-year undergraduates in their subject.
The scheme is coordinated by the Widening Participation team and is firmly established at Queen Mary with 14 departments/Schools running regular sessions.
Mentees are the first-year (and sometimes second year) students who attend PASS sessions. All students are welcome, no one is judged as struggling because they come along – they may want to get ahead for the following year or just enjoy talking to other students about their subject.
How do I know if it’s useful to come to PASS sessions?
Go along to a session and find out. There’s no requirement to be there on the dot or to come more often than you want to. You will get friendly, informal advice in a relaxed environment from people who understand your situation.
I understand my feedback much better after going through it. I know how to improve now
PASS Mentee 2015
Volunteer mentors are the most important part of PASS. Without them, the scheme could not run. They can offer first-years something staff members cannot – recent experience of being a first-year in the mentees’ own school or departments.
Mentors in each department give varying amounts of time, it is a flexible scheme.
Who can be a mentor?
Mentors are second- and third-year volunteers chosen or approved by their school or department. Mentors gain experience of a number of key employability skills through taking part i.e. communication and organisation.
How can you become a mentor?
Contact the academic coordinator for your area (contact details below) during Semester 2. New mentors are usually confirmed before the summer break and compulsory training sessions are held at the start of each new academic year.
Student organisers are at the pivot of the whole scheme as they are the main contact point for all the staff and students involved in PASS. They lead their team to publicise and plan the scheme in their department and are often experienced mentors.
More committment is expected of organisers, they have paperwork to complete and sessions to organise.
How do you become a Student Organiser?
Contact the current organiser in your department (details below) find out when the sessions run and go along to find out more. Each department recruits their mentors and student organisers differently but usually this is finalised by the summer.
I just wanted to say a big thank you for everything that PASS has meant to me these past few years. The new SOs are really perfect for the job. I couldn't be more proud of them and the whole team and of the sense of community that PASS has built within our course.
Previous Student Organiser from Dentistry
Every school or departmental PASS scheme has an interested and involved academic to liaise with the student organisers on course matters and logistical issues. Some academic coordinators work with an administrative or support colleague who is also a key contact for the mentor team.
Peer Mentoring Coordinator – Fathea Khanum
The peer mentoring coordinator helps new schools or departments get their scheme started and provides central coordination.
WP Coordinator – Ashleigh Hope
The widening participation coordinator works with the student organisers to organise their contracts and pay and assist them with PASS publicity and events.
Together they develop and run the mentor training. You can find their contact details on the Widening Participation Staff Contacts web page.
The list below shows the contacts for the schools / departments currently running PASS schemes. If you are a student looking for information on when PASS sessions are held in your School, please contact the relevant student organisers (mentor leaders).
Why be a PASS mentor?
Most mentors are motivated by wanting to give new students the help they wished they had had at the same stage. Through mentoring, they also increase their own academic and social confidence and gain very useful experience to talk about on CVs and in interviews.
Why is there an emphasis on 'peer' mentoring?
One PASS mentor summed this up by saying, There is no barrier, student to student. Each subject mentor has a very useful perspective to offer the mentees. PASS is a valuable and complementary addition to the wide range of more formal teaching and support offered to students.
I think PASS is brilliant. I hope it goes from strength to strength.
PASS Academic Co-ordinator
What is the key skill of a PASS mentor?
Mentors are there to help mentees come to their own conclusions and solutions, not to supply answers.
PASS activities include mentor training, group discussion, freshers' induction, revision sessions, the mentor certificate ceremony and conferences.
For information about activities that have taken place recently please see the latest addition of the PASS Newsletter which is produced twice a year.
It is always an absolute pleasure to receive the PASS newsletter – always happy to pass on advice to mentors thinking of going into teaching.
Former PASS mentor from History
Take a look at how PASS has developed over the years in our PASS Newsletter Archive
This page is maintained by the Widening Participation team