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Want to be a Peer Advisor??

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Description

Nationally recognized for "exemplary practice in achieving campus diversity," the Peer Advisor Program was established by the University of Virginia's Office of African-American Affairs in 1984. The Program assists Black first-year and entering transfer students with their college transition by providing personalized, sensitive support and counseling.

The Office of African-American Affairs assigns every entering Black student an upperclassman "Big Brother" or "Big Sister," who serves as a resource throughout the year, including the summer before matriculation. The pairings are based on academic and extracurricular interests. Peer Advisors meet with students individually and plan group activities to help ease academic and social transitions.

 

Description of a Peer Advisor

Peer Advisors are a select group University of Virginia second-, third-, and fourth-year students chosen to serve as mentors and advisors to the entering class of first-year and transfers students throughout their first-year at the University.


All Peer Advisors undergo an extensive training to ensure they are prepared to assist entering students with common issues faced by new students to the University.

Qualifications

  • Returning full-time students that will be on Grounds in the Fall semester following your appointment. (If you will be studying abroad in the Fall semester after your appointment, you will not be considered for a Peer Advisor Position)
  • Good academic standing (minimum GPA 2.80)
  • Committed to working with a diverse group of peers, as well as entering students
  • Willingness to share time, talents, energy, and knowledge with students in the entering class
  • Passionate about helping students acclimate socially, academically and psychologically
  • Desire to be a trained helper

Expected Time Commitment (see tentative schedule)

Peer Advising is a year-long commitment of time and energy, beginning in the spring semester of your appointment, continuing through the summer months and throughout the academic year.

Spring Semester

  • Attend and participate in all Spring Orientation workshop activities

Summer

  • Begin reaching out to entering students via mail and other social networking outlets
  • Complete any tasks assigned by the Chair(s) of your chosen Program Committee
  • Attend and participate in all Fall Orientation workshop activities

Fall Semester

  • Enroll in EDHS 3895 Peer Counseling Theory and Skills course offered through the Curry School (for first-time Peer Advisors)
  • Remain in consistent communication contact with students assigned to you, using Program checklists to keep you on task
  • Attend and participate in the Office of African-American Affairs Welcoming Reception and Harambee I
  • Attend the requisite number of Raising the Bar Workshops, including one of the Raising the Bar Kick-Off events at the beginning of the semester
  • Furnished required reports and checklists in a timely fashion
    Attend all of the one-hour Monthly Meeting on the third Monday on every month at 7:00 pm
  • Actively engage in the work of your chosen Program Committee

Spring Semester

  • Remain in consistent communication contact with students assigned to you, using Program checklists to keep you on task
  • Attend Mid-year Retreat, Harambee II and New Peer Advisor Orientation
  • Attend at least two (2) Raising the Bar Workshops, including one of the Raising the Bar Kick-Off event at the beginning of the semester.
  • Furnished required reports and checklists in a timely fashion
  • Attend the 1-hour Mandatory Monthly Meeting on the third Monday on every month at 7:00pm
  • Actively engage in the work of your chosen Program Committee

Benefits

  • Gain extensive knowledge of University resources
  • Develop transferable interpersonal skills
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Become a recognized student leader on Grounds
  • Build lifelong relationships with members of the student body
  • Project RISE Gold certification (after year one)
  • Project RISE Platinum Certification (optional after year two, with more intensive training)

Requirements for Application and Acceptance

In addition to biographical data, typed thorough applications should be completed and submitted to the Director of the Peer Advisor Program by the application deadline. The quality of the essay responses is crucial in the selections process.

Application and Selection Timeline (Appy Now)

 

1. Please fill out the top portion of the reference form and give it to the person serving as your reference, as soon as possible. Please turn in your reference forms, in a sealed envelope, along with your application. If your reference is not on Grounds, they can send the reference to the following address:

Office of African-American Affairs
#4 Dawson's Row
P.O. Box 400132
Charlottesville, VA 22904-0132
ATTN: Peer Advisor Program

A Peer Advisor or an RA may serve as one of your references. Your other reference must come from a teacher, faculty member, administrator or other professional familiar with your character and work ethic.

2. Please remove the Instructions Sheet, prior to submitting your application.  It contains important information about the dates and times of the Peer Advisor Orientation and Training Sessions in the spring and in August. If you are selected as a Peer Advisor, you will be expected to attend each of these sessions.

3. Please respond to the application questions thoroughly and clearly.  The quality of the essay responses is crucial to the selections process.  Incomplete or underdeveloped answers will preclude an applicant's proceeding to the next phase of the selection process: the interview.

APPLICATION DEADLINE

1. The application deadline is Friday, January 30, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. Late applications will not be accepted.


2. Completed applications must be submitted to the Office of African-American Affairs, #4 Dawson's Row.


3. Notification of first-round selections decisions will be sent via email the week of February 9, 2015. If you have not received a letter by February 18, 2015, please contact the Office of African-American Affairs at (434) 924-7923.


4. For those making it to the second-round please be aware Peer Advisor Program interviews will be conducted February 19-22, 2015.


5. Decision letters will be emailed the week of February 23, 2015. If you have not received your letter by March 11, 2015, please contact the Office of African-American Affairs immediately at (434)924-7923.


Mandatory Orientation/Training Sessions


If you are selected as a Peer Advisor or Peer Advisor Alternate, you are required to attend mandatory training sessions in the spring of 2014 and again in August. Please hold the following dates for the spring training sessions: Saturdays, March 22 and March 29, 2015 from 9:00 – 3:00 pm.


The tentative dates for the Fall Orientation are: August 20-22, 2015. Please plan to return to Grounds early.


All new Peer Advisors are required to enroll in Peer Counseling Theory and Skills (EDHS 3895) in the fall semester of their first year of Peer Advising, if they have not taken the course already.