Peer Instructors

Become a Peer Instructor

Peer Instructors (PIs) are successful sophomore, junior, and senior students who are interested in helping new students adapt to life at NIU. The prime responsibility of a PI 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 instructor with planning course activities, facilitating class discussions, and providing information to students on a peer level. PIs 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 Instructor is both an honor and a rewarding opportunity for professional and personal growth. This is a volunteer position open to undergraduate students who meet the requirements 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 preferable
  • Demonstrate an ability to successfully lead a class of first-year students
  • Have 3-4 hours per week to commit to the PI position during fall 2014
  • Ablity 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 Instructors 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 Instructor position looks fabulous on a résumé, too!

What is the time commitment?

What is the time commitment? All Peer Instructors must attend two training sessions: one in April and one in August. During Summer 2014, Peer Instructors will be assigned to a section of UNIV 101 or 201 and will be expected to attend all class meetings in the fall 2014 semester. UNIV 101/201 classes typically meet twice a week for 50-75 minutes for the first 12 weeks of the semester. Meetings with the instructor(s) are also required as needed. There may be additional training opportunities and PI meetings throughout the fall 2014 semester with additional opportunities for leadership roles.

PI Info Nights

PI Info Nights are held on the following dates as:

- Wednesday, October 30, 7:00 p.m. at Stevenson Hall, Multi Purpose Room

- Tuesday, November 12, 8:00 p.m. at Holmes Student Center, Room 306

- Wednesday, November 20, 8:00 p.m. at Douglas Hall Smart Classroom

- Tuesday, February 11, 8:00 p.m. at Holmes Student Center, Heritage Room

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

How do I apply?

Please return completed application to First-and Second-Year Experience office, located at Altgeld Hall, Room 100. Applications will be due Friday, December 6 , 2013 to be considered for the priority deadline. Applications will be accepted through Friday, April 4, 2014 but with limited position availability.

What is the interview process?

The first round of interviews begin Monday, January 28, 2014. You will be notified of the position in late January. The second round of interviews will be conducted in late March. Returning Peer Instructors do not have to interview for the position.

When is training?

Training will be Sunday, April 13, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center, rooms TBD. Please check your email for more information.


Feel free to contact First- and Second-Year Experience staff at 753-0028 or at