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Midquarter Mentored Study Groups

Midquarter Mentored Study Groups (MMSGs) are peer-led groups of students who are proactively taking steps to strengthen their learning in challenging courses, while also offering valuable support to one another. MMSG is a community-oriented experience, designed to support students' learning through small-group connection, comfortable environments, and tailored content. Students who have been invited to participate based on faculty referral will receive priority for registration.

Meet a few of the MMSG peer leaders!

Photo of Nadia Burt

I could send my group leader questions that I was confused on, and she would incorporate them into the session. I really liked that I could ask questions without being judged.”

Nadia Burt, class of 2026

In joining an MMSG, I was able to gain an in-depth understanding of material and review concepts that I was otherwise having trouble with.”

Patricia Atieno, class of 2026
photo of Patricia Atieno

How does MMSG work?

Small groups of 4–6 students come together weekly beginning in weeks 3–4 of the quarter, with a trained peer leader, to ask questions, review material, and share strategies for success in the course.  The peer leader is another student who has done well in the course, and who has received training on mentoring others through challenging STEM coursework. In the two-hour meetings, students talk through key concepts from the course; ask questions on points of confusion and help answer one another’s questions; work through practice problems or exercises together; and discuss strategies for effective studying, time management, and other key facets of the course experience. Participants also have access to personalized consultations and additional optional workshops. We require weekly attendance so that students can get the most out of the program, with flexibility for illness or special circumstances.

When and where do meetings take place?

MMSG groups meet at various times throughout the week, typically on weekday evenings or weekends. Schedules are available each quarter. Meetings take place in classrooms or meeting rooms in residence halls.

Who are the group leaders?

All groups are led by fellow undergraduates, who are selected based on both knowledge of the course materials and desire to help others learn and succeed in difficult Northwestern courses. All peer leaders receive training through ASLA. Most participants find that working with peer leaders adds to the "comfort factor" through a sense of camaraderie, making it easier to venture ideas, make mistakes, and learn. Meet some of the MMSG peer leaders!

photo of James Tilson

My MMSG peer leader was kind, inclusive, and patient — which allowed me to feel comfortable asking questions and asking for clarification when I didn't quite understand. Each meeting gave me another opportunity to practice chemistry and obtain a better understanding of the material.”

James Tilson, class of 2025

I understood the material much better being in a Midquarter Study Group.”

Haneen Awadelsayed, class of 2026
Photo of Haneen Awadelsayed
Headshot of Claudia Maldonado

MMSG helped me go through course content at a more reasonable pace for my current understanding, including questions I had which we had already moved on from in class. I could make mistakes, and learn from them, in a safe environment.”

Claudia Maldonado, class of 2024

What is an MMSG session like?

MMSG sessions are two hours (with a break), and typically include some review of concepts from the previous week, time for discussion of specific student questions, and collaborative problem-solving. They also feature

  • Idea-sharing around the best approaches to particular courses
  • Mutual support and understanding of the experience of feeling challenged in a course
  • Intellectual humility: the understanding that we're all here to learn and improve

Which courses does MMSG serve?

  • Chem 110, 131, 132 (Fundamentals of Chemistry)
  • Chem 215-1, 215-2 (Organic Chemistry)
  • Gen Eng 205-1 (Engineering Analysis 1)
  • Gen Eng 205-2 (Engineering Analysis 2)
  • Econ 201 (Intro to Macroeconomics)
  • Econ 202 (Intro to Microeconomics)
  • Econ 310-1, 2 (Microeconomics)
  • Math 220-1 (Single-Variable Differential Calculus)
  • Math 220-2 (Single-Variable IntegralCalculus)
  • Math 230-1 (Multivariable Differential Calculus)
  • Bio Sci 201 (Molecular Biology)

How do students sign up?

Priority is given to students who are recommended by course faculty. Students will receive an email from ASLA, in weeks 2–4 of the quarter, with information on how to register. Those who have not received an email invitation but are interested may contact ASLA to see if the program is a good fit for them. Find out how to register here!