Peer Educators

Become a Peer Educator

Peer Educators (PEs) are successful sophomore, junior, and senior students who are interested in helping new students adapt to life at NIU. The prime responsibility of a PE is to help with either a UNIV 101 or UNIV 201 course which emphasizes the experiences and skills that are expected to help each student in his or her transition to NIU—including getting involved, setting goals, managing time, making healthy decisions and living in a multicultural community. They assist an Educator with planning course activities, facilitating class discussions, and providing information to students on a peer level. PEs also serve as resources and models of success for students who may be uncertain about their ability to make this transition.

Placement as a Peer Educator is both an honor and a rewarding opportunity for professional and personal growth. This can be a paid ($400) or volunteer position open to undergraduate students who meet the requiremenFts below.

What are the requirements?

Students must meet the following qualifications:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Prior UNIV 101/201 students preferred
  • Demonstrate an ability to successfully lead a class of first-year students
  • Have 3-4 hours per week to commit to the PE position during fall 2016
    1. All PEs are required to go to their assigned UNIV 101/201
      ▪ All classes meet for 50 minutes, twice for the first 5 weeks and once for the next 6 weeks.
    2. All PEs are expected to devote two hours outside of the classroom to the position.
      ▪ One hour will be a scheduled weekly Peer Educator meeting in First- and Second-Year Experience
      ▪ One hour is time for the PE to plan activities, meeting with their educator and other items needed for the class
  • Ability to speak effectively on:
    1. Personal management skills (time, stress, health)
    2. Academic achievement skills (study, note-taking, test-taking)
    3. Living in a diverse community
    4. Getting connected (clubs, jobs, campus activities)

What are the benefits?

  1. Those serving as Peer Educators often find it rewarding to know that they have made a difference at NIU by helping new students adjust to college life.
  2. This is a perfect opportunity to gain both teaching and leadership experience and also to strengthen one’s communication skills.
  3. The Peer Educator position looks fabulous on a resume, too!
  4. $400 over the time spent as a PE.

What is the time commitment?

To be a Peer Educator, you must have 3-4 hours available to commit to the PE position during the first 11-weeks of the fall semester, as well as attend two trainings.

All Peer Educators:

  • must attend two trainings: one in April, one in August;
  • must attend their assigned UNIV 101/201 section;
    1. All classes meet for 50 minutes
    2. All classes will meet twice for the first 5 weeks and once for the next 6 weeks for a total of 16 meetings within the first 11 weeks of the semester
  • are expected to devote two hours outside of the classroom to the position
    1. One hour will be a scheduled Weekly Peer Educator Meeting in First- and Second-Year Experience
    2. One hour is time for the PE to plan activities, meeting with their educator and other items needed for the class

PE Info Nights

PE Info Nights are held on the following dates as:

  • Tuesday, October 18, 7:00-8:00 p.m. at Neptune Smart Classroom
  • Tuesday, November 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in Campus Life Building, room 100

Application parties will be:

  • Tuesday, November 29, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at New Hall Swing Space
  • Thursday, December 1, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Stevenson Smart Classroom

If you have any questions or would like further information on what being a PE means, please contact the First- and Second-Year Experience staff at 753-0028 or at fsye@niu.edu.

How do I apply?

Online applications are preferred. If you choose to complete a paper application, please return completed application to First- and Second-Year Experience, located at Altgeld Hall, Room 100. Applications are due Friday, November 18, 2016 to be considered for the priority deadline. Applications will be accepted through Friday, December 9, 2016.

What are Peer Educator Coaches?

Peer Educator Coaches (PEC) are volunteer returning Peer Educators who had positive evaluations from their previous UNIV 101/201 section and wish to take on more leadership within the PE program in addition to their normal PE duties. PECs oversee a group of PEs (about 10 PEs to a group), leading discussions, answering questions and attending weekly scheduled meetings during the required one office hour. PECs also play an essential role during PE trainings. PECs are required to attend two additional trainings to the two PE trainings. PECs are given the opportunity to contribute an article to the PE weekly newsletter.

What is the interview process?

The first round of interviews begin early spring 2017. Returning Peer Educators do not have to interview for the position, but DO NEED to fill out application.

When is training?

Trainings are in April and August. Dates will be announced when positions are announced.

Questions?

Feel free to contact First- and Second-Year Experience staff at 753-0028 or at fsye@niu.edu.