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Peer Helper Program

The Peer Helper Program was founded in 1985 by the Afro-American Studies Program in order to help African-American students make the transition to EIU. The program is now coordinated by the Office of Minority Affairs and has expanded to include all interested students.

The program was designed to give new students both a sense of belonging and the confidence of knowing that there is someone to whom they can turn for help and guidance during the first, critical semester. Our main goal is to help our new students to successfully bond with the university socially and academically.

How does it work?

Each new freshman or transfer student will be carefully matched up with a trained upper-classman. Your Peer Leader will not only serve as your mentor for the entire fall semester, but also a friend that will be able to answer any questions you have about the campus, your classes, and college life in general. Even before you arrive on campus, you can expect to hear from your Peer Leader.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact the Yolanda Williams at 581-6690 or yvwilliams@eiu.edu.

To REQUEST a Peer Leader, fill out the online application.  Apply Now!

Do you want to BE a Peer Leader?

Thank you for your interest in the Peer Leader positions. This mentoring program was designed to assist incoming freshmen and new transfer students get acclimated to the university. This support is vital to the retention of underrepresented and first-generation college students at EIU. Freshman and transfer students’ relationships with Peer Mentors will provide a support system that encourages academic, social, and cultural development.

Essential Qualifications

  • Must have completed a minimum of 30 semester hours by the end of the Spring semester;
  • Must have a 2.5 minimum GPA by the end of the Spring semester;
  • Maintain a good academic and disciplinary standing with the University throughout the program;
  • Have a desire to help new students and be aware of the time commitment involved.

Skills and Abilities

  • Be a team player and representative of EIU;
  • Be willing to learn and grow through the position;
  • Possess a high level of maturity;
  • Be flexible and willing to put the group’s needs above personal needs;
  • Value and appreciate diversity in cultures, values, and personality;
  • Be an effective communicator with protégés;
  • Cooperate with other Peer Mentors, faculty, and staff;
  • Maintain a high level of energy and enthusiasm when working long days, evenings and/or weekends;
  • Be able to adapt and adjust quickly to different situations;
  • Be able to analyze information and make informed decisions; and
  • Be able to accept new tasks and responsibilities.

Time Commitment

  • All Peer Leaders must to be able to attend the trainings and meetings (See attached list of dates).
  • All Peer Leaders are expected to participate in all official Peer Helper functions.
  • All Peer Leaders must submit appropriate reports by the required due dates.
  • Peer Leaders must be able to attend the one evening and summer internet training.
  • All Peer Leaders will help with set-up/breakdown of Peer Helper Welcome activity.
  • At the conclusion of the fall semester, all Peer Leaders must meet with the program coordinator for an individual evaluation.
  • Term of position: August – December.

To BECOME a peer leader, fill out the online application. - Apply Now!