- Abby Brunt - Psychology
- RaeAnn Burton, Speech
- Sarah Davis - Education
- Shayna Effle - Speech
- Emilee Gusso, Healthfu Living
- Rebecca Johnson - Sociology
- Faye Kilday - Mass Media
- Brooke Marsh, Economics
- Beth Nestor - English
- Justin Sevenker - English
- Jillian Tangeman - English
- Leif Tobler - Chemistry
- Lina Traslavina - American History
- Lore Wiltfang - Human Sexual Behavior
Student Peer Leaders are an integral part of the First Year Program in that they provide an essential liaison between the students and the campus community, both academic and extracurricular. Student Peer Leaders served different functions in the various classrooms, but all SPLs worked with their faculty members to develop the courses. The responsibilities of the Student Peer Leaders include:
- Assist in preparation and instruction of the class;
- Attend orientation/training workshops;
- Attend monthly SPL meetings throughout the semester;
- Serve as a role model for First Year students;
- Support and encourage student participation in activities relevant to First Year courses;
- Serve as a guide to campus resources for First Year students;
- Support and encourage student learning;
- Facilitate and direct non-academic First Year activities;
- Report to First Year faculty.
In addition, Student Peer Leaders were involved in classroom instruction by presenting mini-lessons, keeping office hours, tutoring, maintaining Blackboard discussion boards, reviewing personal concerns, and writing and posting online quizzes.
SPLs also modeled classroom behavior, attending class and participating in activities, discussions, and debates. They helped students locate necessary resources on campus (e.g., library, registrar, student services). Some SPLs hosted extracurricular activities such as a movie night, UNK music and theater nights, special speakers, or lunch and inner in small groups.
The orientation/training sessions were beneficial to the Student Peer Leaders, providing "techniques, resources, and a more clear perspective as to the responsibilities of the peer leaders." This year's SPLs feel that the training sessions would be even more effective if experienced SPLs are available to help mentor and train new Student Peer Leaders. Several of this year's SPLs have volunteered to be involved in the spring training session to help prepared SPLs for next year.
Student Peer Leaders found the monthly meetings to be most valuable by providing the opportunity to "discuss the various First Year Experience classes and their effectiveness." If SPLs encountered difficulties in their classes, these meetings were a useful forum for discussing these problems and brainstorming ideas for solutions. They also "allowed peer leaders the opportunity to compare different approaches they had applied to their classes."
Student Peer Leaders indicated that they benefited greatly, both personally and professionally, from their experiences in the First Year program. They gained "organization skills, teaching skills and tutoring skills" as well as became more aware of UNK's resources. Several of the SPLs are now considering becoming teachers. As well the SPL participation in the FY course likely influenced the 78% FY students who indicated that they became familiar with campus resources and the 93% who indicated that they were satisfied with their experience at UNK.