3 Ways to Help Peer Educators Succeed

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In a related article, we asked Sarah Whitley, director of first-year experience and family programs at Longwood University, to offer her insights on what critical items are often missing from peer mentor training. Whitley's answers indicated the need for a shift in thinking about the support and development peer educators need, whether your peer educators serve primarily as peer mentors or whether they lead first-year seminar courses or other elements of the first-year student experience.

We decided to dig deeper in a follow-up interview.

Sarah Whitley and Jennifer Latino, the director of first-year experience at Campbell University, suggest three keys to helping peer educators step into a leadership role and take greater ownership of their work:

  • In training, shift the focus from orientation to leadership development
  • Create opportunities, in training and afterward, for reflection on their role
  • Rather than just present information and policies, discuss the rationale for decisions and invite input from your peer leaders

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