Promoting Academic Skills for Success (PASS)

A collage featuring a student and program coordinator seated at a table, students sitting together chatting, and a student engaging in the healthy behaviour of drinking water. Image features the RGASC graphic logo on the right hand side.

PASS is a 6-week non-credit program run in-person through the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre. It is for UTM academically at-risk undergraduate students who are: 

  • On academic probation or academic suspension 
  • Entering the university under probationary status 
  • Currently in good-standing, but who are trending towards academic probation 

The PASS program aims to help students adopt healthy long-term study strategies and understand the keys to success in their courses. 

Upcoming Registration Information 

PASS is offered once per academic term beginning in mid-October, early February, and early June. 

Key Timeframes Summer 2024Fall 2024Winter 2025
Registration Start January 16May 22September 27
Registration Deadline May 21 at 4:00PMSeptember 26 at 4:00PMTBD
Intake Timeline Week of May 6 to Week of May 20 Week of September 9 to Week of September 30TBD
Classes begin Week of May 27 Week of October 7TBD
Classes end Week of July 15Week of December 2TBD

Register for the Fall 2024 cycle of PASS 

How does PASS work?

The PASS program has three phases: an intake process, the classes, and an exit process. 

Intake Process 

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  • Online survey 
  • 15-minute online intake meeting with a Learning Strategist



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  • 6 weekly in-person class meetings 
  • In-class activities and discussions 
  • Reflection and exploratory assignments


Exit Process 

Arrow in front of door pointing to the right to indicate exit
  • Online survey 
  • 15-minute online exit meeting with a Learning Strategist 
  • 15-minute online consultation with a Writing Instructor

To begin the PASS program, students must complete the full intake process. 

The PASS classes will take place on fixed days and times over six or seven weeks and cannot be re-scheduled. To successfully complete the PASS program, students must fully attend all six classes and complete all the assigned work. 

Students who successfully complete the PASS program will be invited for additional academic skills development and exploration called “PASS Term 2”. 

PASS Topics and Assignments 

The PASS program is led by RGASC staff members and involves valuable contributions from staff from the Office of the Registrar, UTM Library, Career Centre, and the Health & Counselling Centre. Through the PASS program, students will develop strategies in academic skills, managing their physical and mental wellness, and their career and professional development. 

The PASS modular topics are: 

  1. Study planning and note-taking 
  2. Exam and test preparation 
  3. Information literacy and writing 
  4. Writing 
  5. Numeracy 
  6. Health and wellness, careers, and academic advising 

The exact order of the modules may vary from cycle to cycle.

 “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.” 

PASS is not like a traditional credit-based course. Your classes will include group discussions and activities facilitated by your Learning Strategist and your Program Assistants. Your homework aims to facilitate your exploration, reflection, and planning for each module’s specific topics. It will be assessed to focus on giving you feedback so that you can further develop your plans in academic and related contexts and how you will support your academic journey.  

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