Peer Tutoring11

Marshall Peer Support

March 15, 2021
• by
Elliot Cha
PALing Around

With the onset of COVID-19 and the transition to online school via Zoom, it can be challenging to be aware of the numerous resources that USC Marshall has to offer. From career opportunities to networking sessions, USC is actively providing these tools for all of their students to use during these unprecedented times. Of course, the main component of Marshall are the classes, ranging from finance to accounting to business communication. Even in an online environment, these classes are meant to be intellectually stimulating and challenging, and many students have reached out to me for any resources that might be available. Professor and TA office hours are extremely helpful when needing personalized assistance, but there are additional resources for Marshall students. Marshall Core Review Sessions are a fantastic help to many students.

As a former ECON 351 (Microeconomics for Business) Peer Academic Leader (PAL) for Marshall’s Core Review Sessions, I’d like to offer my experiences on how these sessions are run and how many students have benefitted from these academic resources. For ECON 351, there are usually 5-6 PALs in a Marshall classroom, and the session works much like a drop-in opportunity. A lot of students think that these sessions will be a lecture-based tutoring period, but that is simply not the case. If you ever attend one of these sessions, you would see many students sit down and work on homework or study for an exam. If they have a question, students raise their hands and a PAL will come and assist them with the problem. Some students never even ask a question, but the fact that help is readily available whenever needed gives students reassurance that the information will be retained. Personally, I find that these sessions are most effective when already having reviewed the lectures and at least attempted the homework problems. PALs can walk you through a lecture if students really need the help, but it isn’t the best use of the student’s times, as homework questions are the best ways to apply lecture material to practice problems. We have had many students who have taken this approach who have seen a drastic increase in their grades. And as a PAL, it is very rewarding to see that growth.

Marshall Core Review Sessions are available in a number of core quantitative classes: ECON 351, ECON 352, BUAD 280, BUAD 281, BUAD 306, BUAD 310, and BUAD 311. ECON 351 and ECON 352 tend to be much more in demand than other classes, but I highly encourage all students to take advantage of these sessions if they ever need help. Once a student arrives in the main room on Zoom, they are immediately paired with a PAL and sent to a breakout room for one-on-one assistance. With this feature, the student gets the PAL’s undivided attention and can ask the PAL any academic questions. I highly encourage all students to utilize Marshall’s Core Review Sessions; the results have been amazing!


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