NUI Galway Students’ Union and NUI Galway celebrated 41 CÉIM peer learning student leaders on Wednesday, 12 April.
The CÉIM peer learning programme was initiated by NUI Galway Students’ Union to help 1st year students transition successfully to university, succeed academically and complete their studies. The programme was first piloted in 2013 in collaboration with NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics and with the School of Law in 2015. Due to its success to date, the programme will be rolled out further in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies in 2016/17.
 
CÉIM is based on the well-evidenced Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) model used in over 30 countries. Student leaders from higher years facilitate weekly study sessions for small groups of 1st years, creating peer-led learning communities where it’s easy to ask questions.
 
The 41 students who acted as CÉIM leaders in 2015/16 are studying Engineering and Law, and they have each volunteered 40-60 hours since September 2015 to assist 1st years.
 
According to NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Phelim Kelly, “Peer learning is not an activity that is traditionally associated with Students’ Unions. We’re delighted to be leading the way in this regard in Ireland. CÉIM is proof that there is a lot to be gained by students’ unions, university staff and higher year students partnering to support 1st years as they transition to university.”
 
The impact to date of the CÉIM programme is very encouraging with 80% of 1st years surveyed in 2014/15 saying it helped them settle into university. Regular CÉIM attendees achieved 9% higher grades in 2014/15 than irregular or non-attendees and were much more likely to pass the year.