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Peer Leaders Present

Posted by: Erin Blevins | March 31, 2015 | No Comment |
Peer Leaders in Savannah, GA

Peer Leaders in Savannah, GA

Five College of Charleston students had the opportunity to travel to Savannah, Georgia with Lindy Coleman, Associate Director for the Center for Student Learning, to attend the CRLA Southeast Regional Conference and to make a presentation about their experience as peer leaders in February 2015.  Academic support professionals from colleges and universities from South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida were in attendance.

In their role as peer leaders (PL) at the college, Sam Norton, Kat Pursley, Valerie Hammond, Sharhonda Nesbit and Ashleigh Fields, relate to students who are experiencing academic difficulty because they themselves have had the same kinds of challenges. Students in EDLS 100 courses that have a PL have a built-in support system not only with their instructor, but with a peer who has recently achieved academic good standing, and knows the ups and downs along the way. PLs are trained to be active listeners, help students set and achieve goals, be accountability partners, and introduce students to a wide variety of campus resources.

At the conference, these PL’s presented at the session on “Meeting At-Risk Students at a Crossroads: The Role of the Peer Leader in the classroom.” During their session, they discussed their work with the students in and out of the classroom, from teaching a student skill, facilitating a classroom discussion, managing small groups, blogging, and holding study hours. Their presentation was well received and several schools have requested more information on the College of Charleston’s Peer Leader model for at-risk students.

“The Peer Leaders support the students in a way that no instructor can: by being someone who was sitting in EDLS 100 just a few short months ago, and also had to make a choice: change, and likely have success, or resist change, and likely be dismissed. The level of relatability is very high, and therefore makes the PL a valuable resource.” says Lindy Coleman,  Associate Director for the Center for Student Learning.



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