Although peer student support services are offered at college and universities across the country, there is little discussion regarding how students are trained to work in these positions. While the benefits of student support services are generally agreed upon, these services can only be effective if student employees feel adequately prepared for their roles. This study aims to determine best practices to design training curriculum for students employed as writing center consultants, content tutors, and peer mentors in a university setting. To do so, student employees at Pace University - Pleasantville’s Learning Commons were surveyed to analyze how prepared students felt for and in their positions. These responses were used to determine if any disconnects existed between the training curriculum and the job responsibilities, as well as best practices that could be incorporated into training program design. Overall, the findings suggest that credit-bearing courses are most effective when used for training, followed by training programs that incorporate a class-like structure. Additionally, these findings show that students feel most prepared for these positions when training programs incorporate hands-on components. This goes against the current literature, wherein best practices for training programs are heavy on theory. As such, these findings both inform gaps within the literature as well as can be utilized by other colleges and universities to improve training curriculum for similar positions.
Giacalone, Anna, "Training for Retention: How Effective are Writing Center and Learning Center Training Programs at Pace University?" (2021). Honors College Theses. 345.