First-Year Experience
Georgia Southern University

Faculty Guide to FYE 1220 Peer Leaders

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, at kimberleeyontz@georgiasouthern.edu. Please note: this content was created for Fall 2018 peer leaders.

FYE requires all peer leaders to teach one 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. While there is no specific lesson peer leaders are required to teach, peer leaders received training on the teaching a lesson associated with the Campus & Community Engagement module created by FYE. 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 (2018 data coming soon):

FYE requires all peer leaders to attend the following three peer leader training sessions during the spring. In addition to this, peer leaders will have a one-on-one meeting with a peer leader supervisor to begin developing a lesson plan. Peer leaders will also complete online folio training during the summer and meet a minimum of three times with their peer leader supervisor in the fall.

Training #1 – Understanding Your Role as a Peer Leader
This training addresses all the changes in FYE 1220 and the Peer Education program. Peer leaders will leave with an understanding of their roles and expectations. We will also begin discussing how to mentor first-year students in the classroom by addressing common first-year problems and ways they can help as a peer leader.
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. We will also 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.
One-on-One with Peer Leader Supervisor  – Presenting Professionally
Because all peer leaders are required to teach one lesson, FYE helps them prepare for this lesson by reviewing course outcomes, giving presentation tips, and teaching how to create a lesson plan. During a meeting with their peer leader supervisor, peer leaders learn how to teach a class related to the Campus and Community Engagement module created by FYE. Peer leaders will also establish a relationship with their supervisor, who will continue to help them develop their lesson and prepare to teach.
Training #3 – Establishing Relationships

It’s important to FYE that peer leaders know how to establish a healthy working relationship with 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.

Summer Training – Folio
During the summer, peer leaders are asked to complete Folio 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. The training asks them to review what is visible to students in Folio, and trains them on how to hide or add content in Folio and grade assessments.
Fall Meetings with Peer Leader Supervisor
During the fall, peer leaders will meet a minimum of three times with their assigned peer leader supervisor. These meetings provide the peer leader the opportunity to practice teaching their lesson, receive feedback, and/or address any questions or concerns they have.

FYE tentatively matches peer leaders with faculty that have indicated peer leader interest around late-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 (kimberleeyontz@georgiasouthern.edu), 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.
Matching Email
Once tentative matches are made (based on survey results), you’ll be copied on an email from Kimberlee Yontz (kimberleeyontz@georgiasouthern.edu) addressed to your peer leader. This email, sent in late April, 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.
Matching Meeting
Once matching emails are sent out, peer leaders are required to set up a meeting with their matched faculty member before the end of summer 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 late-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. However, this meeting can take place over the phone or via video chat if a face-to-face meeting cannot be arranged. 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 first week of fall classes.
Get to know our FYE 1220 Peer Leaders! Click the links below to see names of 2018 Peer Leaders.

2018 FYE 1220 Peer Leaders by Major and Campus


2018 FYE 1220 Peer Leaders by Last Name

Last updated: 4/4/2018

First-Year Experience • P.O. Box 8145 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-3939 • fye@georgiasouthern.edu