Promoting Academic Skills for Success (PASS)

Promoting Academic Skills for Success (PASS) is a six-week program run through the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. PASS sessions are led by a learning strategist or faculty member and peer leaders who themselves were former PASS participants.

The PASS program aims to help you adopt healthy long-term study strategies and understand the keys to success in your courses! 


Who is PASS for?

PASS is for UTM undergraduate students who are “academically at risk”, including:

  1. students placed on academic probation/suspension;
  2. students entering the university under probationary status.

How does PASS work?

The PASS program consists of the following components:

  • An intake interview;
  • Weekly two-hour class meetings which focus on foundational academic skills;
  • Weekly one-hour Facilitated Study Group sessions so you can practice what you learned in class;
  • Reflective writing exercises; 
  • A one-on-one consultation with a Writing Specialist to discuss your post-PASS writing assessment; and
  • An exit interview.

The weekly classes occur at fixed days and times over six weeks and cannot be rescheduled, however there is some flexibility in scheduling the Facilitated Study Group sessions. Students must attend all classes and FSGs to complete the PASS program.


What Do Students Say About PASS?

“There has been a visible change in my study habits and the way I answer questions. I feel less stressed and better prepared before tests, and am more confident overall.”

“I feel that this is a great program and should be highly recommended for students at risk and even for students who have nothing to worry about. The PASS program has made me so much hungrier to achieve my academic goals.”

“Pass not only taught me how to be a good student, it also taught me on how to write a well-written essay. After handing in an essay in my classes, my marks actually started to go up which gave me the motivation to excel in classes, which I was lacking before being a student in PASS.”

“I liked how the sessions were enjoyable and social but at the same time very informative. I also learned a lot from the guest speakers about writing, and resources here at UTM.”

“I liked how the program assistants were also students who were in PASS and en route to graduating. This program gave me hope that I can eventually be in their shoes and can graduate/be successful despite my suspension.”

“The experience I had with PASS was amazing. It really helped me to figure out ways to improve my study methods and health. I had so much fun in every session as I met new people and got to bond while learning valuable lessons together. PASS has truly changed my mindset about school and allowed me to be more confident in going back to school. I know that I can now start my semester without any worry.”


Schedule & Registration

In order to start the process of registering for PASS, please submit the PASS Registration Form.

PASS is offered once per academic term, typically in October, February, and June and comprises the following modules.

  • Week 1: Study plans, learning styles, and note-taking
  • Week 2: Study skills and exam preparation
  • Week 3: Critical thinking
  • Week 4: Problem solving
  • Week 5: Writing feedback, brainstorming and creating an outline
  • Week 6: Health and wellness, career planning, and academic advising

Each module is led by RGASC staff with valuable contributions from staff from the: