Old fashioned penmanship lesson


The PALS Program in the English Department



About The Program

SRJC’s Peer Assisted Learning Specialist (PALS) program is an equity-oriented program that 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.

In the English PALS program, these class-embedded peer tutors promote student success by connecting students to campus resources, tutoring students through the writing process, and cultivating a sense of belonging in the class and academic community. PALS also can provide light grading and teaching assistance to instructors.



Here’s what PALS do:

  • Offer embedded class assistance to students on writing and other assignments and/or help students understand the instructor’s teaching approach and strategies
  • Hold individual tutoring sessions outside of any scheduled class meetings as needed.
  • At least one hour per week of class attendance is required of all PALS.  During the pandemic when the college is on remote learning, ‘attendance’ is determined by regularly participating in class community opportunities (e.g. in Zooms, other synchronous class meetings, discussion boards, screencasts, or blogs).  When determined by the instructor, PALS will attend more hours weekly.
  • Meet with the instructor as needed to plan and prepare.
  • Provide grading assistance to instructors on low-stakes, formative assessments, if desired by the instructor. (FERPA certification required) 



To serve as a Peer Assisted Learning Specialist, students must:

  • maintain enrollment as SRJC students: minimum 6 units in Fall, 6 units in Spring, 3 units in Summer.
  • be 18 or older.
  • have successfully completed the course(s) they work within (except for Eng 50 and CLSKL 312).
  • be able to satisfy the requirements of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Form.


More Details

PALS are paid $15.00/hour. The number of hours allotted for each PAL varies by course/units, but the range is typically 80-140 hours for the semester. PALS attend a Kick Off Orientation at the start of the semester and have ongoing training opportunities throughout the semester for a total of 10 hours of paid training every semester.

If you’re interested in becoming a PALS, contact your instructor for more information.


Questions about the program?

Contact the English PALS Coordinator, Sheryl Cavales Doolan, scavalesdoolan@santarosa.edu.