Peer Leadership

This monograph considers the role of peer leadership in first-year seminars and how they help create successful transitions for incoming students. It explains how they provide meaningful leadership opportunities through various activities on campus. The monograph begins with the history of an educator’s experience directing one of the initial first-year seminar programs in the country. The opening chapter helps define the terms of peer educators; peer helper; student paraprofessional; and student assistant. Chapter 2 offers a discussion of leadership education. Leadership models from five institutions are used to support the premise that a new kind of leader is developing among students serving as peer leaders. Chapter 3 provides a primer on the essentials of implementing a successful peer leadership program. Chapter 4 explores the building blocks of success to any peer leader program: recruitment, selection, and training. Chapter 5 explores other roles peer leaders assume on campus. Chapter 6 looks at efforts to integrate peer education with new technologies. Chapter 7 reviews data collected on 40 programs. Chapter 8 summarizes the ideas and presents recommendations for future direction.