The CAS Peer Advising Program facilitates the college transition process to create academically successful undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
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Who We Are
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) peer advisors are continuing CAS undergraduates who work primarily with second year and 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 drop-in and appointment hours. In addition to their advising duties, peer advisors actively contribute to a blog, 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
- Serve as role models for successful students
Common Questions to Ask a Peer Advisor
- What classes should I take next semester?
- How many general education courses/AU Core do I still need to take?
- I need help choosing a major. What are some helpful resources?
- How did you choose the major you are pursuing?
- What courses should an undecided student take?
- Generally, peer advisors can assist most students with questions about course registration, general education courses, waitlist procedures, choosing a major, and campus resources.
Blog and Social Media
Stay connected with the peer advisors though Peer to Peer, the CAS peer advising 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.
What Students Are Saying
"I loved meeting with my peer advisor. She was extremely helpful and understanding of my questions and provided in depth and helpful responses."
"The peer advising program was very helpful for me. I was feeling very alone/lost/unsure, but chatting with my peer advisor assured me I was on the right track."
"[My Peer Advisor] was great and so helpful! I definitely look to her as a resource for CAS specific questions as well as any AU questions in general!"
"This resource should really be praised! The informal setting and meeting with your peers is the perfect place for students to let down their guard and get help and learn new things. The peer advisors are so kind and considerate and I can't wait to go back!" *H. Koring and S. Campbell, Peer Advising: Intentional Connections to Support Student Learning, The National Advising Association, 2005.
Photo credit (top): Dylan Singleton.