What Is A Peer Health Educator?
The Prevention & Wellness Services Peer Health Educator Program is one of the largest all-volunteer service-learning group at Western. Peer Health Educators are diverse student leaders who come from all majors. What they have in common are these characteristics:
- They care about health.
- They care about people.
- They are trained for practical work experience.
- They are committed to making a difference in your world.
Peer Health Educators partner with campus health professionals to gain hands-on experience in leadership, group facilitation, public speaking, peer-to-peer information sharing, outreach, and health specialty areas. Peer Health Educators strive to increase the “health literacy” of Western’s campus by educating students via one of these topic groups:
- Alcohol & Other Drug Risk Reduction
- Body Empowerment
- Female Health Educators
- Masculinity Outreach and Violence Education (MOVE)
- Sexual Health Outreach
- STI Educators
- Women’s Empowerment and Violence Education (WEAVE)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Peer Health Educator program?
The Peer Health Educator program is a group of Western students who are committed to enhancing their own health and the health of Western's community. Peer Health Educator care about health and, more importantly, about people.
Who are Peer Health Educators?
Peer Health Educators come from all academic majors, bringing their unique skills and diverse perspectives into their health promotion projects. Through intensive and extensive training, Peer Health Educators learn to use their health knowledge to assist other students and to increase the "health literacy" of Western's campus community. Each Peer Health Educator gains valuable hands-on experience in leadership, group facilitation, public speaking, peer counseling, social marketing, and outreach.
What level of commitment will I be making as a Peer Health Educator?
Peer Health Educators are expected to commit to one year of service. However, many of our students participate in the program for the duration of their college career. Peer Health Educators volunteer about three hours of service to other Western students and the community each week. In addition, they meet one hour each week with their topic group team.
How can I become a Peer Health Educator?
Recruitment for the Peer Health Educator program begins in January with a series of information sessions. Information session leaders explain the program, review the commitments and expectations required of a Peer Health Educator, answer any questions, and hand out applications. Upon returning your completed application, you will be notified of your status within three weeks.
What happens once I am accepted into the Peer Health Educator program?
Once you are accepted into the Peer Health Educator program, your next step is to take Health Education 250: Health of the College Student, offered only in Spring quarter. This course explores the philosophy of Prevention & Wellness Services and its approach to the health issues that college students experience. Following your successful completion of the course, you will be assigned to a specific topic group (e.g., Body Empowerment). Just before Fall quarter, you will be required to participate in an intensive and extensive training session to prepare you for your work as a Peer Health Educator. The training session involves discussion, lecture, facilitation, role-playing, and presentation.
What are the benefits of being a Peer Health Educator?
Many of our students tell us that their experience with the Peer Health Educator program was the highlight of their college career. The connections they make both with the University and with other students only accentuate the knowledge and experience they obtained in health education. There are many reasons students get involved with the Peer Health Educator program, including that the program:
- Helps you feel connected with Western's campus
- Gives you an opportunity to promote healthy behaviors
- Provides concrete experience you can speak about when interviewing for jobs and graduate school