Our Course

Overview

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As a Peer Facilitator in the Honors College, you play a crucial role in helping first-year Honors students adjust to their new lives at the College. Because of you, our students are more likely not only to stay here at the College, but to thrive as well. This is because beyond simply helping students adjust, you help set the stage for each student to excel by helping them to align their core values with their future goals.

The purpose of this course is to enroll a carefully selected group of Honors Students to help facilitate the Honors First-Year Experience course, Beyond George Street. Students will develop peer-facilitation skills through reading, discussing, and collaborative learning about leadership, student development, and the historical background of peer education. As a peer mentor, you will wear many hats–academic advisor, grading assistant, discussion leader, project planner, and more. This class will prepare you to play each of these roles with the care, knowledge, and professionalism expected of peer facilitators.

Core Values

The following dispositions are adapted from the School of Education, Health and Human Performance. They will guide what we do both in our PF Training and in BGS itself. As students, mentors, and teachers, we:

  • Believe that all students can learn
  • Value and respect individual differences and appreciate varied attitudes, beliefs of classmates
  • Value positive human  interactions in and out of class
  • Exhibit and encourage intellectual curiosity, enthusiasm about learning, and willingness to learn new ideas
  • Are dedicated to inquiry, reflection, and self-assessment
  • Value collaborative and cooperative work
  • Are sensitive toward community and cultural contexts
  • Engage in responsible and ethical practice as per CofC’s honor code

Goals

More specifically, the goals of our PF Training course are to:

  • Build relationships and a sense of cohesion and respect among the leadership team
  • Lay out the responsibilities of team members
  • Learn the logistics and policies of BGS
  • Equip PFs with the tools and skills needed to be effective mentors and advisors, including discussions of core values, “cultural proficiency,” and sensitivity to various forms of diversity
  • Discuss strategies assessing student work in BGS (attendance, commenting on blog posts, Know the News, Resume, Personal Statement)
  • Discuss key factors influencing student growth and maturation along with the developmental challenges first-year students face
  • Provide training on the technology required to manage the course
  • Develop and practice effective skills for public speaking, interpersonal communication, and problem solving
  • Develop personal portfolios and e-portfolios to use as models for students
  • Read and discuss together the College Reads! book
  • Organize schedules and activities for Fall
  • Discuss the professional nature of the PF role and the responsibilities that define that professionalism
  • Introduce PFs to the full range of resources at the College relevant to student health and success

 Expectations

  • Attendance and thoughtful preparation at each training session
  • Respectful, inclusive, and sensitive communication with team members
  • Honest, mature, and constructive input regarding course development and team member participation
  • Compliance with all assignment due dates and planning deadlines listed on the schedule

Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Write and explain their personal leadership philosophy within the context of peer education and student development
  • Create effective peer-to-peer relationships among student participants
  • Write and explain a lesson plan for group discussion
  • Articulate your Peer Facilitator leadership style and a compose a Mission Statement for the PF’s role in BGS
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication
  • Identify and describe College of Charleston academic and student support offices and recognize when to use them as referrals while mentoring first-year students
  • Discuss and describe the transitional issues faced by first-year students