Strategies to Design and Expand a Peer Support Service

Nora Arafa (American University of Sharjah )

Wednesday, September 02, 2020 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Session Outline


The research tells us that students look to their peers as a primary source of advice. With this in mind, the peer advising service at the American University of Sharjah’s (AUS) Academic Support Center was established. Initially designed to primarily support students on academic probation, the service has since been expanded to also cater to first year and foundation program students and proactively connect them to academic support. Examples of how the service has evolved and expanded in response to help-seeking behaviors and learning preferences of our student body will be highlighted in the session. This will include exploring changes in the hiring and training of peer support members, advertising, and the broadened scope of services now offered including collaborative initiatives. By adapting to meet the needs of our student body, exposure to and utilization of the service has increased significantly in recent years.

Key takeaways from this session will include considerations for:

  • Developing a Peer Support team
  • Collaborative opportunities
  • Reviewing and adapting a Peer Support service to meet student needs

Ultimately, attendees will be provided with strategies on creating a quality service that supports vulnerable students groups as well as the broader student community.

Competencies
This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
I6 - Campus and community resources that support student success
R7 - Collaborate effectively with campus services to provide support to students
P1 - Create and support environments that consider the needs and perspectives of students, and respect individual learners

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