Verizon Foundation Grant to Aid Students in STEM Courses
Posted: February 28, 2017
A grant from the Verizon Foundation will help create a new
program designed to help students in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math (STEM) majors at a critical time in their
The program, called STEM-PAL (peer advisor leaders) is an
initiative of the Gannon University STEM Center and Academic
Advising Center, in partnership with specific academic departments,
which provides support for specific majors and programs through the
use of peer advisors.
The initiative is particularly targeted toward majors and
programs that show higher rates of attrition. When students begin
to encounter difficulties navigating these challenges alone, they
are at risk of dropping or failing courses, or worse
yet-withdrawing from college completely.
To give them help in these critical programs, peer advisors step
in. They will be juniors and seniors who have demonstrated a high
level of success in their respective academic programs, who in turn
will be empowered to reach out to freshmen to help guide them
through academic difficulties and help orient them to the
University in general.
Peer advisors help motivated students overcome the challenges
that come with college level learning through a strong support
system that reinforces good study habits and includes strong
academic advisement and peer and/or professional tutoring.
"Through the STEM-PAL program, peer tutors reach out at key
points in the semester for first-year students to acclimate them to
the path," said Adam Nogaj, director of the STEM Center. "By
creating this initiative, we predict greater student success in
STEM majors, increased retention, increased graduation and
increased career preparedness."