The Role of the Peer Leader in First-Year Programs
What is a Peer Leader? At Lindenwood University we view Peer Leaders as our ambassadors, representing the University to students and their families. A Peer Leader must feel a strong commitment to the campus community and always be willing to share their enthusiasm and pride for the Lindenwood learning experience with those around them. Peer Leaders will be looked to for guidance and support on a regular basis and must exemplify competency in the following core abilities:
- Demonstrate a willingness to assist others.
- Master and share knowledge about the University’s people, community, programs, policies, and procedures.
- Use critical and creative thinking to solve problems, resolve conflicts, make decisions, and complete tasks.
- Demonstrate flexibility and easily adapt to change.
- Work cooperatively in a diverse team environment.
- Demonstrate personal integrity through ethical and responsible behaviors.
What is a NSO Peer Leader? New Student Orientation Peer Leaders are essential to student success and have the ability to contribute to the intellectual and personal growth of new students by offering insight and support during a very critical time. Peer Leaders will be trained to guide new students on the most important aspects of transitioning to Lindenwood University and becoming connected to academic and student life in order to best facilitate positive interactions among families and first-year students. As part of NSO, you will take on a range of roles that include:
A warm welcoming face – Move in day can be an extremely stressful experience for both the new students and their families. For many students this will be their first time living away from home and for many parents this may be their first child to leave the nest. In addition to the emotional stress of parting ways there is also a great deal of physical stress brought on by the long car ride here and hauling loads of personal belongings into a crammed living space. We need our Peer Leaders to put on a warm and friendly smile and offer a helping hand to our new students and their families. Be caring and supportive, say hello, offer to help with belongings, listen to their concerns, and connect them with the appropriate support personnel.
A knowledgeable and experienced guide – As a Peer Leader, you provide access to people, places, experiences, and resources. You will guide a group of new students through a series of workshops and activities working to keep everyone together and on track with a busy schedule. You are also an information source, so be prepared to be asked a lot of questions! When you are asked a question by a student or a family member, you must assess it carefully.
- First ask yourself: “Do I know the answer?”
- Then ask yourself: “How did I learn this information?”
- If the question is subjective; (e.g., Is X class hard? What is Professor Z like? What classes should I take?), offer only objective answers and avoid sharing your prejudice or bias toward the course, professor, etc.
- If you are not confident in your answer refer them to a specific person or office that can help (see ‘Who to go to for what’ in the Tools and Resources section of Manual).
Your main goal is to teach students how to find answers to their questions.
- Is this question answerable by accessing information online? Can I show them how to find it or how to navigate the information system?
- Is there an office on campus that deals with this information? Can I direct the student to that office on campus and/or a specific person that can answer the question?
- Are there any additional resources that I have used as a student that may help?
Problem Solver – Unexpected things will happen, individuals will stray from the schedule, and conflict will arise, but the show must go on! During on-campus training you will learn effective conflict resolution skills and you will always have support to turn to for help. For now consider the following:
- Be proactive not reactive – plan ahead, be aware of what is going on around you, and if something doesn’t go as planned do not overreact.
- Stay calm and focus on how to move forward.
- Always portray confidence but be willing to make necessary changes.
- Ask for help if you are unsure of what to do.
A role model, trusted ally, advocate, and mentor – Aside from assisting with the smooth functioning of move-in and NSO programming, much of your time will be spent interacting with new students in an informal manner. During these moments you should share stories with your group about your own educational career and the ways you have overcome obstacles similar to those they may face as new students. You will facilitate conversations and activities that help new students work through their fears, develop important skills, and understand the rigors of college life.
- 5 GPA by the end of the Spring 2017 semester
- If you currently have below a 2.5 cum, you may be offered conditional hiring status if the Spring 2017 semester will bring you into the expected GPA
- Not currently on social probation/discipline
- We will be checking with the Dean of Students Office for your conduct record
- Able to work the entire schedule for Peer Leaders (see next page)
- Possess leadership skills
- Represent Lindenwood University in a positive manner
- CANNOT BE MOVING IN EARLY FOR ANOTHER POSITION (i.e. RD, ARD, RA or ATHLETE)
- Ability to move on campus early.
- Lindenwood Staff Apparel
- Play Fair T-shirts
- All meals provided during NSO
- Written Recommendation upon completion of NSO for future employers
- Volunteer Hours
Should you have any questions, please contact us at 636.627.4587 or email@example.com