Become a PA

Make a difference while developing professionally, getting credit, completing your IE, and getting internship credit.

Peer advising is a challenging and rewarding yearlong commitment. Selected each spring for the next fall, peer advisors are junior and senior Communication majors (you can apply as a sophomore) who work closely with the Chief Undergraduate Advisor to welcome new students, develop social and informational programs, foster community within the department, and provide academic advising to Comm majors and those considering the major.

As a peer advisor, you’ll help fellow students and gain valuable professional and academic skills. You’ll also enroll in Comm 394PI: Peer Advising and Leadership Seminar I (fall) and receive 3 credits at the 300-level while completing the IE. In the spring, you'll be enrolled in 3 internship credits, supervised by the CUA and the Department Chair.

Questions?
Contact Chief Undergraduate Advisor, Prof. Allison Butler, N322 Integrative Learning Center, atbutler@comm.umass.edu.

Process of becoming a Peer Advisor

Job Title

Department of Communication Peer Advisor

Terms of Service

Mandatory Labor Day weekend training through completition of spring semester finals.

Job Description

Fast-paced academic department with nearly 900 majors seeks a team of junior/senior peer advisors to hold office hours, support incoming first year and transfer students, develop department-focused service projects, participate in department, college, and university events, and write student-focused blogs for the Comm Connection. Each Peer Advisor has scheduled office hours in fall/spring semester, approximately 2hrs per week. Each Peer Advisor directs a service project that benefits the Comm department, in collaboration with other Peer Advisors and supported by the Professional Advising team. Peer Advisors will earn a minimum of 3 credits at the Comm 300-level and fulfill the IE requirement in the Fall semester and a minimum of 3 internship credits in the Spring semester.

Minimum Qualifications

Qualified candidates will be Communication majors (can be primary or secondary) with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.

Application Process

Interested candidates must submit a cover letter and resume, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for one recommender, from an employer or faculty member. All applications must be submitted electronically to Allison Butler (atbutler@comm.umass.edu). Cover letter should provide background on who you are, speak to your interests in peer advising and any leadership experience you might have. Please let us know why you want to be a peer advisor, what professional development skills you hope to gain, and what you bring to the job. We are especially seeking students from diverse racial, ethnic, gender, ability, and geographic backgrounds. Applications will be reviewed and interviews with qualified candidates will be scheduled prior to registration; all PAs will be chosen in time for registration.

 

Your responsibilities as a PA: The basics

  • Take Comm 394PI: Peer Advising and Leadership Seminar I, in the fall and enroll in 3 internship credits in the spring. Chief Undergraduate Advisor Allison Butler teaches Comm 394PI; Allison Butler and the Department Chair supervise the internship credits.
  • Take part in an intensive, online summer preservice training before the fall semester begins and participate in a weekend-long training session the weekend before classes begin.
  • Welcome a small group of new students and help them navigate the university and the department during their first year.
  • Work in the Undergraduate Advising Office, offering students academic advice and information about resources and opportunities.
  • Develop a service project through which you will make a lasting contribution to the department and its students—while learning skills and making connections that will benefit you.
  • Work closely with a team of skilled and committed Comm Department peer advisors, connect with other peer advisors and resources on campus.
  • Participate in discussions about the undergraduate experience in the department.
  • Develop a close mentoring relationship with a faculty member.