Peer Advising Associates
Each year, approximately 20 students are selected and trained by the AARC staff as Peer Advising Associates. The PAA program provides a supplemental advising system as part of the team of advising resources available to new students at the University of Richmond. PAAs support the work of academic advisors in ways that enhance the new-student experience.
The Role of Peer Advising Associates
In May, each PAA is assigned a group of approximately 50 incoming students. The PAAs contact their assigned students via e-mail and phone during the summer, helping them meet deadlines, make choices, understand university procedures, and adjust to college life. Among other resources, PAAs use the New Spiders website and its checklist to advise incoming students.
New students often have many questions (e.g., What organizations can I participate in? What is life like in the residence halls? What should I bring for my room? What if I do/don't have a car? How do I deal with my parents as I get ready to leave for college? What resources are available for me at Richmond?) and PAAs are an important source of answers.
Led by the AARC staff, PAAs also work with a group of faculty and staff summer advisors in helping students prepare for registration. New students often have serious concerns about how to create their first class schedule, and PAAs are trained to help them make good choices, seek out appropriate resources and follow registration procedures.
Because they are peers, PAAs receive a broader array of questions than are typically addressed to faculty/staff advisors. This means that the effectiveness of the PAAs at answering and referring this wide range of questions can be especially helpful in reducing the stress of incoming students and easing their transition to Richmond.
PAAs are required to attend training sessions prior to their employment start date.
PAAs are paid for their participation in the program. (Wage rate: level 2 for summer work.)