Peer Assistance Leaders (PALs)

What is the Peer Assistance Leaders (PALs) Program?


The Peer Assistance Leader Program (PALs) is an established tutoring and mentoring initiative at Zayed University, servicing the academic needs of both female and male students.

The PALs Program caters for first year students to university as well as upper year levels. It was established in recognition of the fact that students like to help each other with their studies. Therefore, establishing a peer-mentoring program has helped txther area of interest, mentor/tutor their peers, usually beginning students, in a supportive and encouraging relationship. This type of relationship usually involves the characteristics of role modelling, encouragement and positive reinforcement of achievable academic goals.

In terms of student retention, this kind of program is an important strategy to help first year students during their transition to university. Furthermore, this kind of program compliments and enhances existing advising methods or programs already in existence at Zayed University.

The PALs Program is governed by a series of objectives that relate to the unique relationship that exists between the tutor and the tutee.

These are the objectives for a tutor in the PALs Program:

  • to develop the ability to work as a team member and to lead from example

  • to enhance personal and professional communication abilities

  • to become aware of ethical and professional responsibilities when dealing with mentees

  • to develop personal confidence in the ability to develop and maintain a peer mentoring relationship

The following objectives are directed towards the peer tutees and their relationship with a PAL:

  • to foster the development of a student identity

  • to become acquainted with and assimilated into the wider tertiary institution

  • to develop the skills necessary to determine which course of study is relevant to a student’s interests

  • to develop the skills of becoming an independent and lifelong learner

Guided by these comprehensive objectives the PALs Program has witnessed remarkable growth and acceptance on both campuses as a premier retention program, where students are able to seek assistance with their studies and for other students to develop their skills as a peer tutor.

Finally, what distinguishes the PALs Program from other comparable tutoring support programs is that the besides peer tutoring, the students are engaged in a variety of leadership activities both on and off campus. As the acronym PALs indicates, students are peer assistance leaders and it is because of this feature that we believe our program is unique in its structure. 

Our peer tutors are provided with numerous leadership opportunities during the course of each semester representing Zayed University in an ambassadorial role. It is because of these experiences, that we believe our peer tutors are able to develop their personal skill portfolio that will enhance their employment prospects upon graduation.

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