By Joe Pisicolo
Not many would disagree that the concept of peer advising can provide unique benefits and effective results for students. Like getting advice from a sibling or a friend, having someone similar in age and experience to use as a soundboard for your thoughts and concerns can be extremely useful. A supplement to traditional mentors, peer advisors are relatable and can adeptly empathize with your situation – perhaps because they were in a similar one not too long ago.
If you’re a college student with a keen eye, you may have noticed a peer advising program set up in your college’s career or student services office. Programs like these are a great way to encourage students to be informative and helpful with one another, providing guidance on what courses to take and how to best take advantage of the college’s various resources. Employers, too, are implementing programs that allow employees at similar levels to help each other assimilate into office culture and become aware of key organization success factors.
While peer advisement is widely considered useful, its programs are typically confined to its institutions.
What I mean by that is simply this: peer advising programs at ABC University offer guidance solely to students at ABC University and much of this guidance is specific to policies and procedures unique to ABC University. The same concept holds true for programs coordinated by employers. This isn’t to say that these programs have the wrong idea – it obviously would not make sense for them to arrange differently. But is there another way to go about peer advising? Do one-on-one peer advising programs need to be confined by educational and professional institutions?