Why I Love Being a Peer Advisor
"I'm a first generation, female, minority student here at KU. From that I have learned how important it is to not only have access to important campus resources such as advising on what obtaining a degree at a university looks like, but also to have a support team; someone in your corner rooting for you. By being a Peer Advisor, I have not only gained that from my team and my experiences, I also am able to have the amazing opportunity to provide that to students all across campus." - resident UAC poet and PA, Alycia Cardamone
Peer Advisors (PAs) serve as members of the Undergraduate Advising Center (UAC) staff and assist students as they experience a variety of transitions including acclimation to academic life, major selection and overall academic success at KU.
During the Academic Year - 10 hours per week
- Assist undergraduate students with current semester issues and enrollment. You'll become an Enroll & Pay expert!
- Staff what we call the PA Cube - which is where you will be working 1 on 1 with students as a drop-in advisor!
- Work closely with UAC professional staff for a true professional experience in academic advising.
- Provide program support and outreach for the UAC. This can often include responding to emails sent to email@example.com.
- Perform other duties as deemed necessary to the success of the office... this job is what you make it! We are always open to hear your ideas.
During the Summer - approximately 30 hours per week
- Participate in the academic advising component of all summer orientation sessions for freshman, transfer and readmitted students.
- Assist KU staff, students, and guests with the advising and enrollment processes.
- Act as a resource and a friendly face for incoming students.
- Assist with preparation of materials for advising and related office duties.
- Staff the front desk of the UAC while providing exceptional customer service by taking phone calls, answering the chat service, scheduling assistance and assisting all guests present in the office.
An orientation day for a PA starts in the Kansas Union. It begins with the Transfer Credit Room. This is where you help UAC and Admissions staff get student transfer credit written down correctly. That way they can enroll in the afternoon.
After transfer credit, you can be found helping students and guests find where they go next. You also assist UAC staff in the Advising Help Room. This could be anything from a student changing their major to answering any questions our new Jayhawks might have.
In the afternoon, we are back in the Undergraduate Advising Center. This is where you will be greeting guests and chatting in our lobby or providing enrollment assistance to UAC staff and our new students. It's a fun day!
Being a PA means being an expert navigator, an ally, and a year round resource to fellow Jayhawks. PAs are often the hub of information for the Undergraduate Advising Center. They have a very direct connection to campus and what is happening in our academic community. Simply put--they know everything! PAs are a student resource that can be seen year round. They are team of experts with lived experiences in a variety of majors.
What is the "core" of the KU experience? Being a student and being connected. PAs live it and can help you find it too!
Common PA Duties
- Help students make semester goals and plans
- Navigate campus resources and processes
- Figure out GPA's
- Explore majors
- Make a road map to professional school admission
- Discover passions and career interests with students
- Listen to students who are having current semester issues
- Talk about important study skills
- Help students find a balance between school and involvement
We provide advising by acting as a sound board for students but ultimately help them realize that they have the power to shape their own experience at KU. We don't make the choices for the students, instead we offer support and empower the students to make their own.
In getting to know students on an individual level, we are able to learn what works for them and what doesn't. We can point them to campus resources, activities, and campus organization that will best fit with them and impact their success in a positive way! We love helping students have those 'Eureka!' moments.
Treating the whole student is an important factor in what we do as well. We don't just look at past course work and degree progress but we get to know their backgrounds and passions. We understand that if they have other obligations those play a role in shaping what their college experience looks like.
What You Get Out of Being a PA
When you join our team, you bring your individual strengths to our office. Here are some ways we help you grow as a professional and a student. These trainings are what provide our PA team with a solid foundation, and we couldn't do it without the help of our KU campus partners.
- Bystander Training
- Social Justice 101
- Peer Educator Training
- De-Escalation Training
- Safe Zone
- Confidentiality and Sensitivity Training
- Comprehensive KU Academic Advising preparation
PAs get the opportunity to work closely with a full-time advisor in our office. We get to know YOU and what you can best bring to the job! Through mentorship, PAs have often found extra internships and programmatic experiences that they are able to help our office run. It is our hope to provide the resources and insights to help you grow personally in this position.
"I love being a mentor to a PA! This has really opened up a lot of collaborative and creative opportunities between myself and the team. Currently, I work with a few PA's who help me run our social media and recruitment campaigns. It's great to find out what else our Peer Advisors are passionate about and provide them with the opportunities they need to grow outside the classroom." - Hannah Goetz, former Communication Coordinator
Being a PA means being a part of a close knit team. You'll learn a lot about yourself but also how to work with others. Your fellow PAs become your family! You will discover what group role you function well as, and how you can communicate well with other leadership styles on the team.
During the semester, you'll be asked to present alongside full time staff at events like OPTIONS KU and in UNIV 101 classes. This gives you the opportunity to help guide your fellow Jayhawks when they are at the beginning stages of their college careers. You are also the first person who greets anyone who comes into or calls our office. Peer Advisors are the face of the UAC! You have a very responsibility to guide the campus perception of the UAC.
This is your time to be seen on campus as a member of an office. Someone who was chosen and is trusted with being a resources, a guide, and a helping hand to the KU community. During the summer, you'll be seen by incoming students and their guests as someone to look to for answers, someone they can easily approach. It's a great time to make a connection with a new student, that might last into future semesters. You could end up being someone's mentor! Being a Peer Advisor will also give you great insight into what Higher Education is like.