MavPASS Opportunities for Increased Learning Featured in U of M Podcasts

by BLAKE PIESCHKE, CSU Public Relations Intern

MavPASS Director and Associate Professor for the Department of Communication Studies Laura Jacobi

Our very own campus peer-facilitated academic support system, MavPASS, has been featured in a series of podcasts with Dr. David Arendale, associate professor emeritus from the University of Minnesota and a premier scholar for over 30 years on peer-facilitated learning.

Created on campus in Fall 2019, MavPASS is founded in supplemental instruction.  It was branded as MavPASS because it is a “peer-facilitated academic support system” for students in historically difficult courses. 

The new podcast episodes feature student study group leaders and program coordinators describing session activities that worked well. Those interviews include what they are learning personally and professionally from their experience.

On April 13, the podcast series started with the director of MavPASS, Laura Jacobi, associate professor for the Department of Communication Studies. Five MavPASS Leaders were also chosen to be featured in this story with one already that has been interviewed.

To listen to the current and upcoming podcasts, visit Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Groups Podcast: College Group Tutoring and Study Review Groups (

To support students in these difficult courses, MavPASS Leaders are identified and hired to sit in on the course in which they already demonstrated proficiency in a previous semester. 

The MavPASS Leaders are also trained in collaborative learning techniques in order to facilitate study sessions for any students in participating sections of the course.  The MavPASS sessions are confidential and free, and research shows that students who attend them earn an average of one full letter grade higher in the course.

MavPASS has grown significantly since being organized in the fall of 2019. Starting from five courses and 17 undergraduate student leaders, the program offers 18 courses and involves 41 student leaders. In the upcoming fall semester, they are growing to 27 courses and 60+ leaders, with hopes of improving those numbers as time goes on.

MavPASS Leaders

Whether you are struggling in school or not, MavPASS is an option for everyone. Believe it or not, there are more benefits than just improving your grades from tutoring.

It creates an opportunity to increase students learning capabilities by seeing the other ways students study. Some of the current leaders today were students seeking help in areas of struggles.

Want to know the most overlooked benefit of being a MavPASS leader?

Becoming a MavPass leader grants the opportunity to build a closer relationship with faculty. This presents a chance to build better references for a resume and create more connections for job opportunities in the future after college.

For more information about MavPASS, visit Maverick Peer-Facilitated Academic Support System (MavPASS) | Minnesota State University, Mankato (

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