Every fall, FYE 1220 peer leaders– undergraduate student leaders selected by FYE– help first-year students acclimate to college life through social and academic mentoring and assist extended orientation instructors. Click the tabs below to learn more about FYE’s peer leader program. For information not provided in the tabs below, contact Kimberlee Yontz, Coordinator of Peer Education & Academic Intervention, at email@example.com. Please note: this content was created for Fall 2017 peer leaders.
FYE requires all peer leaders to teach one extended orientation lesson. However, the faculty member and peer leader have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to deciding other peer leader roles in the course. See below for more information about possible ways to utilize your peer leader in FYE 1220, as well as the classroom presentation requirement.
Classroom Presentation Requirement
In an effort to help students gain presentation experience, FYE requires all peer leaders to teach one lesson on their own in extended orientation. In the past, FYE has recommended this lesson to be time management; now, peer leaders can teach any lesson agreed to by their faculty members, as long as it fits the course outcomes. To read more about how we train peer leaders to teach, check out the Training tab.
Potential Peer Leader Roles
Most peer leader roles are determined by the peer leader and the faculty member he or she is paired with. When deciding roles, peer leaders are asked to consider what they want to learn and achieve in this position and are also instructed to ask faculty members what they need help with in the course. In the past, faculty have utilized their peer leaders by having them . . .
- Present more than one lesson
- Facilitate in-class or online discussion (often at the beginning or end of class)
- Arrange out-of-class activities (e.g. visit to Career Services, drafting a scavenger hunt)
- Grade assignments and/or record grades
- Track and record attendance
- Meet with students before and after class (to discuss adjustment to college, class progress, etc.)
- Demonstrate how to navigate WINGS and Folio from the student interface
- Create a class Facebook group or Twitter feed
- Help with Folio-related duties
Fall 2017 peer leaders are particularly interested in the following roles:
FYE requires all peer leaders to attend the following five peer leader training sessions during the spring and one group meeting in the fall.
Training #1 – Establishing Relationships
It’s important to FYE that peer leaders know how to establish a healthy working relationship with their supervisors (matched faculty). So, we give tips on making a good first impression and communicating effectively. One of these tips is to have a conversation with their matched instructor(s) that address the following questions: what are the course goals; how do you see the peer leader of your course helping you reach those goals; how do you like to communicate with your peer leader (weekly meetings, weekly emails, etc.)? In addition to these questions, we also advise peer leaders to talk about their own personal goals and what they want to learn through their peer leading process.
Training #2 – Mentoring & Diversity
Mentoring first-year students is big part of being a peer leader. This session addresses diversity issues and how peer leaders can best mentor students who may not hold the same worldview as they do. Special thanks to the Multicultural Student Center for assisting FYE with this training session.
Training #3 – Presenting Professionally
Because all peer leaders are required to teach one lesson in extended orientation FYE helps them prepare for this lesson by reviewing course outcomes, giving presentation tips, and teaching how to create a lesson plan. During training #3, peer leaders walk away with a lesson plan on time management that they can teach in the fall.
Training #4 – Helping Peers
In this training session, we talk about empathetic listening skills and the difference between advice-giving and helping. While we train peer leaders to help first-year students whenever possible, we also train them to know when to refer first-year students to other people who are better equipped to assist them by going over other issues such as confidentiality and FERPA compliance, and teaching them about on-campus resources.
Training #5 – Folio
Much like FYE’s faculty Folio training, peer leader Folio training reviews how to hide or add content in Folio and grade assessments.
Summer Online Training
Because FYE wants peer leaders to be familiar with module content that will be taught in FYE 1220, all peer leaders are required to participate in summer online training that helps them get familiar with the FYE modules provided in the FYE template.
During the fall, peer leaders meet in small groups to discuss how their peer leader experience is going so far and get tips for troubleshooting any issues they may be encountering.
FYE tentatively matches peer leaders with extended orientation faculty that have indicated peer leader interest around mid-April. Initial matches are not final assignments, but merely a match suggestion based a number of criteria (course time, peer leader schedule, etc.). It is ultimately the mutual decision of the peer leader and the faculty member to work together. See below for what faculty should expect during the matching process.
Peer Leader Preference Form
After you confirm your course for fall, you’ll receive an short peer leader preference form from Kimberlee Yontz (firstname.lastname@example.org), which will ask basic questions about what type of peer leader you would like to be matched with. This survey is where you would indicate that you want to work with a specific peer leader if you have one in mind. Peer leaders receive a similar survey once they finish registering for fall classes. Please note: while we do our best to honor requests, final matches are ultimately determined by how well your course time matches with a peer leader’s schedule.
Once tentative matches are made (based on survey results), you’ll be copied on an email from Kimberlee Yontz (email@example.com) addressed to your peer leader. This email will ask the peer leader to set up a meeting with you to discuss the match; it will also list your contact information, your FYE 1220 course information, and your peer leader’s contact information.
Once matching emails are sent out, peer leaders are required to set up a meeting with their matched faculty member before the end of spring semester. You should expect your tentative peer leader to set up the meeting shortly after receiving the matching email. Since matching emails are sent out in mid-April (close to the end of the semester), we ask that you go ahead and hold some time on your calendar now to meet with your peer leader later. This meeting serves as a medium for you and the peer leader to discuss peer leader roles in the course. For more specifics about required peer leader roles along with suggestions for roles, click the Peer Leader Roles tab.
Faculty/Peer Leader Agreement Form
If both you and the peer leader feel good about working together in the fall after the matching meeting, the match can be finalized by completing and signing the Faculty/Peer Leader Agreement Form. It is the peer leader’s responsibility to print and return this form to FYE by the end of spring semester.