Minnesota State Mankato MavPASS Program Receives National Recognition for Helping Students Succeed in Difficult Courses

Program honored with Exemplary New Supplemental Instruction Program award

January 23, 2024 | News Story

Star Tribune coverage of MavPASS program

Mankato, Minn. – A rapidly growing Minnesota State University, Mankato student support program in which students help students learn difficult content in challenging courses has received national recognition.

The program, known as MavPASS, will receive the Exemplary New Supplemental Instruction award for 2024 from the International Center for Supplemental Instruction, which is based at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The award will be presented at a June conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

MavPASS (Maverick Peer-Facilitated Academic Support System) helps students through study sessions led by fellow students who have already succeeded in the course. Through attendance, students better understand and retain course material and enhance their course grade.

According to Laura Jacobi, Minnesota State Mankato’s MavPASS faculty liaison, statistics show that from 2019 to 2023, course grade point averages for MavPASS participants have increased, while grades of D and F and course withdrawals have significantly decreased.

“Because MavPASS attendance has increased steadily over time, we are impacting more and more students,” said Jacobi. “There is excitement about what we are doing collectively in closing equity gaps at Minnesota State Mankato, and what the data show. As a result, I expect that MavPASS will expand at Minnesota State Mankato, and there is potential for similar programs to be implemented at other colleges and universities in the Minnesota State system.”

Jacobi said that 23,773 students have enrolled in MavPASS-supported courses since 2019. Even more impressive, Jacobi said, is that more students are attending MavPASS, they are attending more often, and they have significantly better course outcomes.

In spring 2021, 907 of 2,587 students enrolled in MavPASS (or 35 percent of them) attended MavPASS 4,403 times, said Jacobi.

The numbers were even higher in fall 2023, Jacobi said, as 1,819 of the 3,198 students enrolled in MavPASS (or 57 percent of them) attended MavPASS 10,594 times.

MavPASS began at Minnesota State Mankato in the fall 2019 semester with five courses and 17 undergraduate student leaders and has steadily grown since. In the current semester, there are 59 MavPASS student leaders supporting 25 courses and 51 faculty, said Jacobi.

Jacobi is part of a group presenting information about MavPASS to the Minnesota State Board of Trustees this week in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Key to the future of MavPASS and all academic programs at Minnesota State Mankato is gaining legislative funding for a new Armstrong Hall on the Minnesota State Mankato campus that is part of Minnesota State’s capital request (see page 14 for information on the Armstrong Hall replacement project).

The Armstrong Hall replacement project includes a coordinated vision for a Learning Commons in Memorial Library that promotes increased student engagement with collaborative academic learning support programs, such as MavPASS.

For more information on MavPASS, please contact Laura Jacobi, a professor in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Communication Studies, by email at laura.jacobi@mnsu.edu or by phone at 507-389-5302.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,635 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 26 colleges and seven universities.

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