Peer Academic Coaching

Not sure how to juggle all the deadlines ahead? Are you thinking you might make better use of your study time? Want some tips for tackling tests?

Peer Academic Coaches (PAC), a collaboration between Supplemental Learning and the Writing Centre, offers students the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with another student who has both experienced success and also has an awareness of what it’s like to struggle academically.

Experienced SL Leaders or Tutors can provide students with individualized strategies and resources on a range of academic challenges for a variety of disciplines.

Peer Academic Coaches can offer support with time management, goal-setting, study strategies, giving presentations, note-taking, test-taking and dealing with exam anxiety.

How to book

Appointments may be booked through the website on the Peer Academic Coaches schedule, or visit the Writing Centre to get help with booking an appointment.

Where

Sessions will typically take place in the Writing Centre (OM 1411) or online. 

Sessions

Students are invited to book a 45-minute session with a Peer Academic Coach, with the possibility of booking one follow-up appointment. For additional support, the Coaches are knowledgeable about other student services, and may connect students to resources such as STSS courses, Counselling, Accessibility Services, Writing or Math Help Centres.

Meet the Coaches

  • Adam
    Adam

    Business (Accounting)
    Specialties: Scheduling, Organization, Study Techniques

    Learn more about Adam

    What drew me to become an SL leader and PAC coach?
    The opportunity to share my knowledge with others

    I never go to class without:
    Emergency snacks

    Best advice I’ve ever received:
    Treat others the same way you want to be treated.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university
    How much extra support TRU offers to their students

    My academic “a-ha moment”
    I didn’t realize how much SL helped until after I attended my first session.

  • Katie
    Katie

    Nursing (BScN)
    Specialties: Study Strategies, Time Management

    Learn more about Katie

    What drew me to become a Peer Acadenic Coach?

    In 2017, I graduated from high school with above average grades and good study habits. However, my first year of the Bachelor of Science program was a challenge. I remember receiving my grade for my first quiz in Chemistry and I almost failed it. I was crushed and I honestly felt like a failure… I spoke to a 4th year student soon after this happened and they laughed and said that something similar happened to them their first year and “you adapt and it gets better“. After that, I realized my high school study habits wouldn’t quite cut it in university so I formed study groups, attended SL sessions, and asked for help from those ahead of me. I understand how stressful and what a big adjustment university can be. Seeking out that extra help from my peers truly did help me become a better student and adjust to university life. Because of this, I want to give back to TRU students and help them not only survive through university but thrive. This is why I decided to become a Peer Academic Coach.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university:

    To leave time for myself whether that be going for a walk, hanging out with friends, or reading a book. You need that time to keep yourself sane, and it won’t take away too much time from your studies.

    I never go to class without:

    My planner, a pen and a water bottle.

    My academic “a-ha moment”

    Realizing that I can get that A even if it seemed impossible.

  • Olivia
    Olivia

    Science (CMMB Major)
    Specialties: Organization, Time Management

    Learn more about Olivia

    What drew me to become a Peer Acadenic Coach?

    I became an SL Leader because I enjoy interactive learning, and I know I have the capacity to help my peers succeed.

    I never sit down to study without:

    Sticky notes, a coffee, and music.

    Best advice I’ve ever received:

    Don’t let a bad five minutes become a bad day.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university:

    I wish I’d realized that the other first years were just as nervous as I was; no one else knew exactly what they were doing either.

  • Juliana
    Juliana

    Science
    Specialties: Study Strategies, Test Preparation

    Learn more about Juliana

    What drew me to become a Peer Acadenic Coach?

    I am so grateful for all of the amazing SL leaders that supported my learning in my first year of university. want to give back to other students by engaging with them and helping them learn, and by providing the same welcoming environment I experienced.

    I never sit down to study without:

    A water bottle and colourful pens!

    Best advice I’ve ever received:

    Be kind to everyone! You never know what battle a person might be fighting.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university:

    How fast each semester actually goes by!

  • Michelle
    Michelle

    Philosophy, Business
    Specialties: Time Management, Organization

    Learn more about Michelle

    I never go to class without:

    Water!

    Best advice I’ve ever received:

    Anything is possible. You just have to want it enough.

    I didn’t think I needed extra support until:

    I tried SL and enjoyed the experience so much. Studying can get tedious. Having a place where developing skills to be successful is enjoyable is invaluable.

    What drew me to become an SL leader, and now a PAC coach?

    SL Sessions helped me so much, not just with the class I was taking, but with general studying, that I wanted to be part of sharing that experience with others.

    My best or most memorable moment as a peer leader…

    A classmate that I hadn’t felt comfortable with showed up for an SL Session. We ended up working together on the material over the course of the semester, and by the end of the term, I realized we had become friends and that learning with others made studying fun and memorable.

  • Cassidy
    Cassidy

    English, Psychology
    Specialties: Public Speaking

    Learn more about Cassidy

    What drew me to become an SL leader and a PAC coach?

    I decided to become a peer leader because I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and to help others students going through the same things I did. I had such an amazing SL experience that I want to be a part of making sure that other students can have a great experience too.

    Best advice I’ve ever received:

    “Do the best that you can, with the resources you have, and the time allotted.“ At the end of the day, you can only do what you can do. Learning to be happy with my best instead of having to be the best has taken a huge weight of my shoulders and allowed me to enjoy the journey a lot more.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university:

    Make time in your day to do something unrelated to school or work.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university:

    There’s more to school than just studying. University has so much to offer, and you shouldn’t be afraid to try things.

    I didn’t think I needed extra support until:

    I tried to do my homework! I thought I understood everything in class but when I sat down to do it myself, poof, all the information left my brain. SL gave me a chance to put into practice what I had learned in class, to make connections with my classmates, and to make my learning experience far better than it would have been without SL.

  • Loghan
    Loghan

    Psychology, Sociology
    Specialties: Study Skills, Time Management, Priortization

    Learn more about Loghan

    What drew me to become an SL leader and a PAC coach?

    I appreciate a flexible and supportive study environment. At first, the idea of meeting and studying with peers in a fun yet focused way made me really interested in being part of SL.

    I never sit down to study without…

    Some kind of timer! I lose focus after about half an hour. If I don’t have a timer to remind me to take short breaks I keep studying, but with a lot less focus.

    Best advice I’ve ever received:

    Make time in your day to do something unrelated to school or work.

    What I wish I’d known on the first day of university:

    How useful and important office hours are! In my first year I didn’t take advantage of these opportunities to meet with faculty one on one. Now, if I’m struggling with a concept or unsure that I’m doing an assignment correctly, I prepare a few questions and go meet with my prof. I also wish I knew about ESTR’s Market on my first day! The food is amazing and the people are great!

    My academic “a-ha moment”

    Drawing my own diagrams or visual representations for key information changed studying for me. It’s much easier for me to recall images rather than text. Once I figured this out, I became a lot less anxious about studying because I had a strategy I knew worked for me.

  • Mike
    Mike

    Law (2L)
    Specialties: Balancing being a Mature Student and a Parent

    Learn more about Mike

    My best or most memorable learning moment:

    My best learning moment was when the Indigenous Rights framework suddenly crystalized in what appeared to be a football trick-play diagram. That single SL session and its resulting diagram prepared me for the Constitutional Law final exam, which is the single biggest source of stress for most 1L students.

    What drew me to become a Peer Acadenic Coach?

    As a 49 year old 1L student, I found myself in a de-facto player/coach role. That’s not to say I'm smarter than my colleagues. I’m not. But, I do have life experience that helps me put the stresses of law school into perspective. We all often felt overwhelmed and imposture syndrome was rampant. Having survived that experience and often being able to help my peers deal with stresses, career mapping, developing study strategies, and even parenting, made for a rewarding year. The fact that there is a structured program to help me improve my coaching was serendipitous.

    I never go to class without:

    These days? My readers. :(

    Best advice I’ve received:

    The best way to get something done is to convince the person who you need to do it that it’s their idea.

    My academic “a-ha moment”

    Taking a graduate diploma in business administration with a bunch of very bright international students who had gone on to become engineers and achieving a better GPA than I thought was possible.

  • Jolene
    Jolene

    Law (3L)
    Specialties: Exam Preparation

    Learn more about Jolene

    I didn’t think I needed SL until:

    The first day of class in Constitutional Law!

    What drew me to become a Peer Acadenic Coach?

    I’ve learned that it takes a village to get through law school, and the bigger your village the better.

    I never go to class without:

    Coffee and a hair tie.

    Best advice I’ve received:

    Comparison is the thief of joy.

    My academic “a-ha moment”

    Having these daily, still… Stay tuned!

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