Academic Gains through Improved Learning Effectiveness (AGILE)

Students working together on academic tasks.

Peer Academic Assistance Programs

When it comes to learning, it's what you DO that matters. Learning with a peer fosters self-testing for understanding, connecting concepts, and improving memory. At USM, there is an entire team of peers to assist with a wide array of learning goals. Together, these positions comprise a team of over 120 trained and employed students to assist others in being academically successful. Through this academically-purposeful employment, students become stronger learners themselves and develop transferable skills for future endeavors.

These student employment positions include:

Learning Assistants (LAs)

LAs are undergraduate students who have taken the course previously, and are embedded in the course to foster an active learning environment.  LAs prepare the learning activities with the faculty each week, and then facilitate small-group practice. The LA Program is the only academic assistance approach that supports all the students in the course, since it occurs within the classroom during scheduled class meeting time. 

Current USM students and faculty seeking more information can visit our internal campus website.

Subject-based Tutors

Tutors provide 1:1 support and active practice in specific subject areas. This peer support approach is not just for the struggling student, rather any student who wants to self-test and practice with concepts. The content of the tutoring session is determined entirely by the student. Students are encouraged to plan ahead and make tutoring part of their weekly “academic time-on-task”. Appointments can be in person, or accessed live online via Zoom.

Current USM students and faculty seeking more information can visit our internal campus website.

Writing Assistants

It can be challenging to step out of our "own head" to evaluate our writing. This is where collaboration can be extremely helpful. One of the best resources for this active, collaborative process at USM is to work with a Writing Assistant. Writing Assistants do not edit papers, rather help students become stronger writers throughout the entire writing process. 

Current USM students and faculty seeking more information can visit our internal campus website.

Technology Assistants

Assisting students 1:1 along with designing workshops to develop comfort with Microsoft Office programs, Google applications, blogging programs, software used in online courses, and other technology tools for academic purposes. 

Current USM students and faculty seeking more information can visit our internal campus website.

Peer Academic Coaches

In addition to topic-based tutoring, students can increase their academic skills at the Learning Commons. These skills include how to effectively and efficiently read textbooks, take notes, manage time, and prepare for and take exams. 

Current USM students and faculty seeking more information can visit our internal campus website.

Learning Commons Navigators

If you are new to doing research as a USM student, it can be helpful to meet with a Learning Commons Navigator at the Portland campus location (second floor of the Glickman Library). A Learning Commons Navigator is a current USM undergraduate or graduate student trained in guiding peers through the initial steps of conducting academic research.

Current USM students and faculty seeking more information can visit our internal campus website

Current USM students can apply to any of the positions above by visiting our internal campus website

Got questions? Please email us at usmlc@maine.edu.