The College of Charleston has opened one of the first comprehensive peer education centers in the country. The Center for Excellence in Peer Education prepares outstanding students to mentor, tutor, and assist their peers, as well as offering resources, services, and training opportunities to other college and university peer educator groups.

“Preparing students to share their knowledge and skills with their peers is part of the College’s strategic plan,” says Page Keller, director of the Center. “Students consistently say their peer educator was able to better relate to them and they felt more comfortable talking with that person than an adult. We are in the preliminary stages of studying the impact of peer education.”

The Center for Excellence in Peer Education will train First Year Experience peer facilitators, Center for Student Learning peer academic coaches, REACH mentors, Cougar Excursion executive board members, Greek leaders, honors peer facilitators, resident assistants, and Bonner leaders. There are currently more than 100 trained peer educators on campus.

All peer educators trained at the Center take a two-credit course in the Department of Teacher Education. This course trains them to develop peer education skills through reading, discussion, and collaborative learning about leadership, mentoring,, and historical background of peer education. The students also participate in a six-hour Peer Educator Workshop lead by Joe Urbanski from Collegiate EmPowerment.

Peer educators are the top students at the College of Charleston. Through their peer educator experience, they gain skills that will benefit them in their careers including: recognizing strengths/weaknesses of self and others, implement diverse approaches to learning, model appropriate/professional behavior and attitudes, and gain effective conflict management skills.

For more information, contact Page Keller at 843.953.3850.