CSC News

April 01, 2005

Student to Student: CSC Peer Advising

Sometimes it takes a student to help a student. As the spring semester draws to a close, Computer Science students start planning their courses for fall. In addition to undergraduate advisors Joyce Hatch and Barbara Adams, students can now count on Peer Advising—a new means of finding out first-hand what classes to take. Peer Advising is informal, candid guidance; such as what classes to take and not take together, what to expect from professors, course difficulty, etc.

Earlier this month, two Peer Advising sessions were held—led primarily by Computer Science seniors Alex Balik, Sammie Carter, Chris Davy, Travis Cornwell, and Rich Killian. Junior and senior students shared their experiences and offered advice to freshmen and sophomores. There was a presentation from the seniors, followed by a question-and-answer session. Both undergraduate advisors were present in case clarification was needed or a peer advisor presented misinformation. After the group session, peer advisors met one-on-one with students to help plan specific course schedules and answer individual questions.

Peer advisor Sammie Carter commented, "I feel that student/peer advising is important because it gives students a different perspective than the regular advisors give. We are not trying to replace the regular advisors, by no means, but just give the students some information from another student's point of view. For myself, I have been here for a long time, and I have taken almost all of the undergraduate CSC classes and a few of the graduate classes. So I feel that I have lots of experience in the department. I have also made a lot of mistakes along the way. I learned many hard lessons, and I enjoy sharing those experiences with other students so they don't make the same mistakes that I did."

What do students receiving peer advising think? According to one student, "[Peer Advising] gave me "real" advice, from a student’s point of view. There are some things you can only learn from other students who’ve been through the classes you’re looking at. It helps to talk with someone who’s ‘been there, done that.’"

By Irena Rindos (edited by Ken Tate and Fay Ward)

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