Students teaching students : understanding the experiences of peer educators in a first-year student seminar Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7m01br083

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  • Peer educator positions on college campuses generally serve to promote student adjustment, retention, and satisfaction. Research indicating the effectiveness of peer educators in a helping role is key to the growth in peer education programs over the past forty years. First-year student seminars are one course where the use of undergraduates as peer educators is increasing on college campuses. The goal of this thesis is to share the results from a qualitative study intended to look at the experiences of undergraduate peer educators teaching a first-year student seminar course. This study hopes to provide a starting point for future research in the areas of peer education programs by beginning to understand: (1) how peer educators define their role in the classroom, (2) the dynamics and challenges of the relationship between peer educator and students with regard to such roles and responsibilities, and (3) what peer educators are able to gain from this experience in terms of knowledge and skills. For faculty and staff working with or supervising peer educators, understanding how students perceive their role and challenges they may experience as a result of conflicting roles could do much to improve selection, training, and support for peer education programs.
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