Peer Academic Advisors

Each year, approximately 20 students are selected and trained by the AARC staff as Peer Academic Advisors (PA). The PA program provides a supplemental advising system as part of the team of advising resources available to new students at the University of Richmond. PAs support the work of academic advisors in ways that enhance the new-student experience.

The Role of Peer Academic Advisors

In June, each PA is assigned a group of approximately 50 incoming students. The PAs contact their assigned students during the summer, helping them meet deadlines, make choices, understand university procedures, and prepare for college life. Among other resources, PAs 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? What resources are available for me at Richmond?) and PAs are an important source of answers.

Led by the AARC staff, PAs 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 PAs are trained to help them make good choices, seek out appropriate resources and follow registration procedures.

Because they are peers, PAs receive a broader array of questions than are typically addressed to the faculty/staff advisors. This means that the effectiveness of the PAs 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.

PAs are required to attend training sessions prior to their employment start date.

PAs are paid for their participation in the program.