Transferable Skills Gained by Student Leaders in International SI-PASS Programs
International Journal of Learning in Higher Education
Supplemental Instruction/Peer Assisted Study Sessions (SI-PASS) is a peer learning program used worldwide to improve students’ learning and performance in challenging courses in higher education. A bonus effect of the program is the transferable skills that the student leaders may develop when facilitating the study sessions. These student leaders can potentially gain communication, group management, and other personal skills that are useful later in life. The relatively few studies devoted to this topic suggest that this is the case; however, these earlier studies have several limitations. They cover only one SI-PASS program, raise generalizability questions, and frequently use their own definitions of skills gained by student leaders that seldom are linked to employability skills. Furthermore, it is rare that these studies include former leaders and their use of the developed skills in working life. This study addresses these limitations for a broader understanding of skills gained by SI-PASS Leaders and how these skills transfer to a job environment. The study includes student leaders from three SI-PASS programs in three countries across three continents. Two questionnaires were used—one for active SI-PASS Leaders and one for former student leaders who graduated from their university. The results show that the SI-PASS Leaders gained transferable skills within several areas, primarily in communication and group management. This skill improvement is independent of the SI-PASS program. The study also shows that most former leaders report the use of these developed skills both in the application/hiring process as well as in the job itself.
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