Become a PA

Make a difference while gaining new skills—and 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 Comm 392P: Peer Advising and Leadership II (spring) and receive 300-level Comm credit for each course.

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

Step 1: Attend an information session

This is required. The workload is considerable, so you need to think carefully about your schedule for the next year before applying. Do not apply if you aren’t sure you can commit to a full year.

Step 2: Apply and interview

Once you’ve attended an information session and understand the commitment and how it fits into your schedule, you’ll submit an application and then come in for an interview. Download the application at right.

Application materials must be submitted to N323 Integrative Learning Center.

They include:

  • Completed application
  • One-page essay describing your vision for the role(s) of peer advisors in the Communication Department
  • Copy of your transcript (an unofficial copy is fine)
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor and/or employer

Your responsibilities as a PA: the basics

  • Take Comm 394PI: Peer Advising and Leadership Seminar I, in the fall and Comm 392P: Peer Advising and Leadership II in the spring with the Chief Undergraduate Advisor
  • Take part in an intensive, online summer preservice training before the fall semester begins and start course readings and correspondence with new students during the summer
  • 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