Who are the Peer Advisors and what do they do?
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) peer advisors are continuing CAS undergraduates who work primarily with first and second year undecided students. They are chosen from a select group of students and complete a rigorous interview and training process. Peer advisors help students pick classes and majors that suit their interests, provide information on academic policies and procedures, and make appropriate referrals to campus resources. They also provide advising based on their experiences as students at AU. Peer advisors hold walk-in and appointment hours.
In addition to their advising duties, peer advisors publish a monthly academic newsletter, hold various on campus advising events, and assist in registration workshops. In the advising office, CAS peer advisors serve as an additional unit of academic support for all CAS undergraduates in the Academic Advising Office.
Why see a Peer Advisor?
Peer advisors can provide academic information from their own student perspective. They advise students on the “real deal” when it comes to choosing classes, picking a major, and utilizing campus resources. They share the lessons they have learned as AU students. Because peers are highly trained on advising material, they are a valuable academic resource.
According to Koring, Campbell, et al,* peer advisors serve six purposes:
- Help new students transition to the university
- Help advisee master basic academic processes
- Teach and reinforce student skills for success (i.e. time management, study skills, etc)
- Act as referral source
- Offer a different but complementary point of view from staff or faculty advisors' perspectives
- Are role models for successful students
Common Questions to ask a Peer Advisor
- What classes should I take next semester?
- How many general education courses do I still need to take?
- I need help choosing a major. What are some helpful resources?
- Am I taking the correct courses for a first year student?
- I need help registering. How can I be cleared to register?
- What courses should an undecided student take?
Generally, peer advisors can assist most students with questions about course registration, pre-registration clearance, general education courses, waitlist procedures, choosing a major, and campus resources.
Contact Information and Hours
Office: Battelle-Tompkins 164
Hours: Varied each semester; available on a walk-in and appointment basis.
Appointment Scheduler: http://www.american.edu/cas/advising/undergraduate.cfm
Blog and Social Media
Stay connected with the peer advisors though Peer to Peer, the CAS peer advisor blog, that is updated frequently with academic information, issues, and events happening around the College of Arts and Sciences. To submit questions or topics to be covered in the blog, please email CASPeerAdvisors@american.edu.
Students can also get information about the latest academics updates and news by following the CAS peer advisors on Facebook and Twitter.
For previous peer advisor activities, please visit the newsletter and podcast archive.
*H. Koring and S. Campbell, Peer Advising: Intentional Connections to Support Student Learning, The National Advising Association, 2005.