Student Employee Evaluation
The Peer Wellness Educator position is a paid student employee position in Student Wellness. Students take a two credit academic course (U ST 316) and participate in summer training prior to beginning their role. Peer Wellness Educators have various responsibilities including peer-to-peer facilitation, presentations, outreach, and program planning.
The following includes student’s perceptions of their skills and competencies BEFORE they were a Peer Wellness Education and AFTER their first full academic year of being a Peer Wellness Educator. Skills and competencies are based on foundational skills in peer education and responsibilities they do as part of the position at Iowa State University. These skills and competencies are also part of U ST 316 and other Peer Wellness Educator training opportunities.
National Peer Educator Study – Institutional Reports
Every year, Peer Wellness Educators participate in the National Peer Educator Study, which measures their competencies before and after being a peer educator on campus. This study compares Iowa State University results to other institutions across the country.
Assessment of Social Justice Approach in the Peer Wellness Educator Training Course and Program
The following poster outlines a research study conducted on the social justice approach in Peer Wellness Educator Program by Margaret Kaus, M. Ed.
Student Reflections on their Experience as a Peer Wellness Educator
Below are a snapshot of responses from Peer Wellness Educators on what they learned and their experience as Peer Wellness Educators.
- Being a PWE has allowed me to better organize my work and plan my study times. I have noticed that I procrastinate less and am more motivated to complete more work on time. One thing that has really helped me is writing lists down of the things I need to do. Since I have become a PWE, GPA has gone up significantly. This semester, for example, I’m shooting for a 4.0!
- Being a PWE has helped me academically through working on campus. Knowing that I go to campus for work cuts down on the chance of me not going to class. In addition to not missing class being a PWE has also helped me with managing my time and allocating blocks of time to both work and to devote to my studies. Allowing flexibility with my work schedule has allowed me to dedicate more time to my academics and be the best student that I can be.
- Being a PWE has connected me with people of many different backgrounds, both through our inclusive/diverse Student Wellness staff and employees, and the students of Iowa State that I have interacted with at facilitations and outreach events. I grew up in quite a diverse area, but I have met and bonded with people whose identities I never had the privilege to experience and learn about.
- Personally, being a PWE has really changed the way I see the world. It has opened my eyes to so many different perspectives and view points. It has brought to my attention issues in the world I was not aware of before. It has honestly made me a better person. It’s challenged me to be more open-minded, empathetic and compassionate. Reflecting on this year is quite humbling. I am so thankful for all the personal growth this experience has brought me.
- Through my role as a PWE it has helped me really examine myself and reconnect with my internal beliefs and rediscover myself. The course of obtaining a degree can be very stressful at times and students tend to put themselves on the back burner. This role has enabled me to find a balance between academics and personal life and ensure that I am making time for both. Focusing too much on just one area of life can cause a person added stress and as we are aware of school places a lot of emphasis on grades and performing the best academically one can be. This pressure and stress without a proper outlet can accumulate and cause a person to grow resentful towards their path. This job has helped me balance my focuses evenly between doing well both in school and in my personal life and I can’t imagine where I would be today had I not had this opportunity in the last year.
- Personally, this job has meant a LOT to me. It is wonderful to find joy in the work that I do at Student Wellness. I also got really invested in the personal reflections. I have consistently kept a journal since I was 14 years old, and it was beneficial to have writing prompts other than the things that I usually reflect upon. Additionally, I’ve found the work invigorating, so much so that I’ll work some office hours or presentations on Friday afternoons when I typically would get tired of doing school work during my younger years at ISU. I’ve learned how to say yes to things that I care about and say no to things that I’m not needed to do through this job. I’ve learned that I can be honest and vulnerable in diverse groups, and still be accepted. I’ve learned to take care of myself in ways that I did not think to tend to prior to being a PWE. I’ve also learned to be more bold in certain situation because of this job.
- Being a PWE has helped me practice important skills that will help me advance in my career. For some people, these skills are learned until after college graduation. I’ve learned the attributes of an understanding leadership. I have learned how to manage my responsibilities. I have learned how to have inclusive, unbiased conversations. But what I have cherished most of all as a PWE, is the emphasis on reflection. Filling out these reflections almost every week for the whole academic year has allowed me to track how I’ve changed. There’s no true way to tell where you came from, how you’ve improved, and how you can continue to improve without constant reflection!
- Professionally, being a PWE has strengthened my skills for the professional world. My skills have greatly improved in the following areas: public speaking, working with others, program planning, strategy development, and using inclusive, culturally appropriate language.
- Being a Peer Wellness Educator has lead me to explore different professional avenues that I probably would have never started thinking about if I had not engaged in this work over the past year. In other words, I like the idea of working in a Student Wellness capacity for a university some day! I love the vibrancy of the community at the office and hope to cultivate similar spaces in the future! I have also found that I enjoy collaborating with lots of different people and teams on projects. I learned from my supervisor how to be a manager who gives time, energy, and ideas to the students that he is supervising. I am eager to see what the future holds with opportunities to work with more amazing people like the SW professional staff and fellow PWEs.