Avanzando Peer Assisted Learning Specialist (PALS)

As part of the HSI-STEM grant, the Avanzando Initiative has expanded the PALS Program to include efforts directed toward the academic success of students enrolled in gateway STEM transfer and Health Science courses. 

SRJC’s PALS Program seeks to increase student knowledge and skills by fostering community, agency and persistence in the classroom.  Students who have successfully completed courses are invited back to mentor and tutor current students so that they may find greater academic success. PALS attend class, and they hold individual tutoring sessions outside of class, as needed.  In addition, PALS provides grading assistance to the instructor.

If you have any questions, please contact Daisy Cardenas. 


  • Basic Information


    PALS must meet the District eligibility for employment as an STNC, including being 18 or older, and having  completed the course(s) they work within.


    PALS are STNC positions, selected in partnership with a faculty members who will serve as the PALS Supervisor.


    PALS receive up to 10 hours of paid training in fall and spring; they attend a Kick-off session at the start of Fall and Spring semesters.


    1. Attend regular class meetings to offer embedded classroom assistance help to students understand the instructor’s teaching approach and strategies.
    2. Spend at least one hour/week in class. When determined by instructor, PALS will attend more hours weekly.
    3. Provide grading assistance on low-stakes, formative assessments, as needed.
    4. Hold individual tutoring sessions outside of regular class, as needed. Depending on student demand, these could be small group tutoring sessions. All sessions must happen on SRJC campuses, and when possible, these sessions will happen in the MESA-Avanzando Student Center, located in the Bertolini Building on the Santa Rosa Campus, in the Tutorial Center, or Math Lab.
    5. PALS may not have access to grade books. PALS may be added to Canvas as a “student.”
  • How to become a Peer Assisted Learning Specialist

    If you are interested in working as a Peer Assisted Learning Specialist for a specific health science, math, chemistry, life science, physics or engineering course, please execute these steps in the Avanzando PALS Approval Process:

    Step 1: As a student, express your interest to faculty.

    Step 2: Complete the Faculty Approval Verification Form.

    Step 3: Submit your request to a faculty member.

    Step 4: The faculty member completes the verification process.

    Step 5: Faculty and student turn in Avanzando form.

    Step 6: Avanzando staff will contact you with additional information.

  • Eligible Courses 

    STEM And Health Science Courses Eligible For PALS Support:

    • Anat 1 
    • Anat 58
    • Bio 2.1-2.3
    • Chem 3A
    • Chem 3B
    • Chem 12
    • Engr 6
    • Engr 25
    • Engr 34
    • Engr 45
    • Math 1A-1C
    • Math 2
    • Math 4
    • Math 5
    • Micro 5
    • Micro 60
    • Physics 20
    • Physics 40-43
    • Physio 1

    Funding Formula (The Number Of Hours Allotted To PALS Depending On The Unit Value Of The Class)

    • 3 units = 80 hours
    • 4 units= 100 hours
    • 5 units=120 hours