Peer Advising FAQ
1. What is Academic Peer Advising?
Academic Peer Advisors interact and work with students in generating semester schedules, tutoring, helping students get involved and communicate with the faculty and staff through workshops, newsletters or lunch-ins. Academic Peer Advisors excel in a variety of degree programs and are highly involved within the University. They offer a vast amount of knowledge within their departments and have well-established relationships with various faculty and staff. Academic Peer Advisors are great resources that can help students transition and grow within the University.
2. Is peer advising the same in all departments?
Each department carries different expectations of their Academic Peer Advisors.
Some departments have been established (within the peer advising program) for many years and have a set way of doing things and know exactly what their academic peer advisors are going to achieve for them. Some of the various projects that academic peer advisors have completed include alumni surveys, student cohesion activities, senior recognition events, workshops, newsletters, tutoring, involved in registration, and many other areas.
You may also have an opportunity to work outside an academic department. Various support services have mentored peer advisors in the past. STRIVE U, Office of Support for Students with Disabilities, Student Success Center are just a few other options available.
3. What does the advisor/mentor relationship entail?
It’s important to interact with your mentor so that you’re both on the same page. You want to make sure that you have a mentor that can be involved and help when you need it, but at the same time you need to have some independence. Mentors have various backgrounds just like academic peers and it’s important to remember that they are just as busy. It’s crucial that a meeting takes place between the mentor and the academic peer advisor at least a couple times a month, just to make sure that you both know the task/s at hand and the deadline.
Some mentors can set aside a lot of time for their academic peer advisors where others cannot. In this situation, it’s important to get involved and meet with your mentor when they can; it might also be a good idea to meet with other faculty and staff to see if they have any project or ideas for the program.
Also if your mentor is having a hard time deciding what projects they want you to accomplish speak with other peers and observe what they are doing to see if something like that would work in your department. Also speak with the faculty of the Peer Advising Seminar, they are great resources and can help you think of projects or get in contact with other professors/staff in the department that might have projects for you or ideas to further the department.
4. What are the requirements for being an Academic Peer Advisor?
Besides the application* requirements, an Academic Peer Advisor will be required to fulfill a minimum 1 year commitment to the program and pass the Peer Leadership Seminar course.
HRD 337 is a two (2) credit course. All tuition and university fees apply.
This course will be offered on Wednesday evenings (4:40-6:30pm) on the Portland Campus (Fall Semester only).
Academic Peer Advisors will also have the option to sign up for HRD 338 (1 credit) during the Spring semester.
The 1 year commitment pertains to the academic year (Fall/Spring semester). This is not a paid position, however students with Work Study will be able to utilize these funds for the work they do in their department assignment.
* - All applications will be reviewed and qualifing applicants will be scheduled for an interview in mid March. Final decisions will be made in mid April.
5. What is the time commitment?
Time commitment varies between academic peer advisors; basically it’s how much time you can put in. Some of the time commitments that past academic peer advisors have put in include anything from three to five hours/week all the way to twenty hours/week. The minimum expectation to be successful in a placement is three (3) to five (5) hours a week. This range in time commitment also plays a part in the ability of getting paid either through work-study or departmental funds.
6. Who benefits from Academic Peer Advising?
Academic Peer Advising is a great opportunity for all students to meet and interact with other students, learn more about the University and to make connections.
Academic Peers help students through the transition process and can make transitioning within the University easier (through tutoring, creating informational workshops, newsletters, registering, etc.)
7. How Do I Benefit?
Academic Peer Advising looks great on a resume.
Create long lasting relationships with students, other peers, mentors, professors, staff, and faculty.
Can help you decide if you would like to work in a University setting.
8. How Do Students Benefit?
They get to interact with students in their department who have already taken the courses that they need to take and can give information about the course, how many courses they should take per semester to graduate in four years, and other information.
Some peers tutor students, which can help the student succeed in a course that was at one point very challenging for them.
They are better informed about what the University has to offer (programs and departments).
They have an easier time during registration if there is an academic peer helping them through the course selection process.