by Regina Yohana
Humber College is allocating more funds to a learning services program in response to the increasing number of international students.
The institution added 500 more students from 150 countries this winter semester. Humber’s learning support coordinator Anthony Nguyen said that the college is prepared to assist them in adjusting their life in college.
“Our services are accessible to all students. However, they’re more popular among international students,” he said.
Peer Assisted Learning Support or PALS is a program that consists of many free services to support Humber students in their study. The program offers peer tutoring, study sessions, note-taking service, and learning skills workshops.
According to Nguyen, the most used service by domestic students is the peer tutoring program, while note-taking service is really popular among international students.
The note-taking service was created to help students who are struggling to concentrate in class. The PALS tutors will ask students to record their lectures and they will transcribe the recording into notes.
Oanh Pham, a second-year fashion management student from Vietnam, said that PALS helped her a lot during her first year. She was struggling to keep up in class because of the language barrier.
“I had a hard time listening to the professor in class because I was still not used to listening actively in English. I usually got my notes three to five days after I sent them my recorded lecture,” Pham said.
Pham stopped using the service in her second year. She said she doesn’t want to “spoil” herself and ended up “being lazy” because of it.
“Without the service, I don’t think I would be able to pass my first year,” she added.
PALS currently has 60 student-employees who are ready to assist. The program received a lot of demand for peer tutoring last semester, especially from the social community services and business programs. With more than 33,000 full-time students, including 6,500 international students enrolled this year, Nguyen said he’s going to add more tutors.
“I am not sure about the amount of money that Humber has allocated this year for the program, but I know that they’re adding more funds as the demand is increasing, so we are definitely adding more staff,” Nguyen said.