Peer Advocate FAQ

Applying and Becoming a Peer Advocate
  • How do I become a Peer Advocate?
    • To become a Peer Advocate, look for the campus-wide e-mail with a link to the online application. Shortly after you have submitted a completed application, eligible students will receive an e-mail to participate in a group interview with other promising applicants and members of the Health Promotion team. If you are selected, you must attend a mandatory 3-day training to learn the necessary skills for becoming an effective health resource to students.
  • When do you accept Peer Advocate applications?
    • We accept applications once per year. We begin accepting Peer Advocate volunteer applications in the summer for the following fall semester.
  • Do I have to re-apply every year?
    • No, if you are chosen to become a Peer Advocate, you do not have to reapply.
  • I am studying abroad next semester; can I still be a Peer Advocate?
    • Yes, but we do factor that into our choice, so let us know on your application.
  • Do I have to major in a health related field to be a Peer Advocate?
    • Absolutely not! We welcome all majors!
  • Is there a chance I won’t get selected to be a Peer Advocate?
    • Unfortunately, we cannot accept everyone who applies – there are just too many great candidates! However, if you are not chosen, we encourage you to try again next year.
  • I’m a graduate student; can I apply to be a volunteer?
    • Absolutely, all years and all majors are welcome to apply. The responsibilities for grad students are the same as undergrads.
  • What do you look for when choosing a Peer Advocate?
    • We look for self-motivated students who can be creative, outgoing, enthusiastic, and who are committed to a healthy lifestyle.
Peer Advocate Training
  • If I am chosen, what can I expect from the Peer Advocate Training?
    • Training happens over three jam-packed weekend days. You will learn how to be an effective listener, how to create programs, teamwork skills, referral skills, and marketing strategies. You will also get a taste of some of the workshops we present to students. Campus partners such CAPS, University Police, and the University Health Center will provide important information on how to assist students who may be in crisis. You will also meet and hear from current Peer Advocates. By the end of training, you will be ready for all sorts of “drops in” scenarios.
  • What if I have to miss training? Can I make it up?
    • Sorry, there are no make-ups for training. If you apply to be a Peer Advocate you will know the training days in advance and you must attend all three days. If you cannot make training this year, or miss any part of training, you will be asked to apply next year.
Responsibilities & Commitment
  • What exactly do Peer Advocates do?
    • The main task of a Peer Advocate is to staff Health Promotion’s Drop In Center and interact with students as they come in for health related information, referrals, or safer sex supplies. Peer Advocates also create and implement health education programs to present to students on a wide range of health topics related to college life, including nutrition, stress, sleep, alcohol and other drugs, sexual health and more! Peer Advocates are not peer counselors.
  • Will I get to counsel students?
    • No. Peer Advocates use strategies like active listening and motivational interviewing when interacting with students, but we are not counselors. We are here to be a listening ear and refer students if necessary to services on and off campus.
  • How much public speaking is involved?
    • As much or as little as you want. There are plenty of opportunities for public speaking, Peer Advocates facilitate workshops and do outreach activities with students around campus.
  • Do Peer Advocates get paid?
    • No, Peer Advocates are volunteers. Volunteer experience looks great on a résumé, and most of our student employees started out as Peer Advocates.
  • How many hours a week do I have to commit?
    • A minimum of 4 hours per week. You may spread the hours throughout the week.
  • Does my schedule have to be the same every week?
    • No, your volunteer schedule can be as flexible as you want as long as you complete four hours.
  • Do I have to be there at night or on the weekends?
    • Not usually. We have a few programs that run on nights or weekends throughout the year, but mostly you will be working during Health Promotion’s business hours.
  • Can I get class credit for volunteering?
    • Peer Advocates do not get class credit. However, we do offer academic learning experiences through Service-Learning, Cooperative Learning, Observation and Field Work Studies.
  • What will I get out of the Peer Advocate experience?
    • Check out testimonials from former and current Peer Advocates!