SAGU cares about student success! We also recognize that one of the greatest influences in our students’ lives is other students. The Lions Leading Lions Initiative is designed to focus on increasing student retention and persistence to graduation. Below you will find information regarding the Q.E.P. and peer advisors along with resources to help you simplify your experience at SAGU (i.e. degree plans, academic support resources, etc).



Summary:

Lions Leading Lions is all about increasing student success through improving the student advising experience. It is an initiative born of institutional research and planning processes that recognized the importance of improving persistence at SAGU as a vital aspect of greater student success. Further research into factors of special importance to SAGU students in determining their decision to stay at the university until degree completion led to a focus on improved advising as the means for increasing the retention rate.

The Goals of L3:

  • SAGU will increase its five-year retention average among FT/FT degree-seeking students, from freshman to sophomore year, by 5%.
  • SAGU will increase its five-year retention average among FT/FT degree-seeking students, from sophomore to junior year, by 5%.
  • Student social involvement will progress from broad and investigative in the first semester to narrow and committed by the end of the fourth semester (attendance at multiple activities).
  • Student goal-setting and goal-planning will be maintained from the Degree Completion Plan assignment in the first semester through the end of the fourth semester. Students will have a clear path to graduation through understanding the courses necessary to complete their desired program.

To accomplish these objectives, L3 takes a three-pronged approach with the following components:

  1. Advise: Enhancing advising by improving access to student information for advisors
  2. Simplify: Improving information for students about their degree programs through development of simplified and helpful Degree Pathway Sheets
  3. Choose: Developing a team of peer advisors (PAs), (upperclassmen who each shepherd a group of underclassmen through their first two years at SAGU) to help the students learn the SAGU culture. Peer advisors will partner with S3 course coaches, faculty advisors, and others to give newer students a larger community of support—an “advising net”—an important factor, according to research, in improving retention and student success.

PEER ADVISORS:

Purpose:

We created L3 to impact student success through selecting some of our best students to advise and mentor other students. Selecting each peer advisor is one of the most important decisions we will make each year as each one impacts the lives of over twenty students.

Note: The L3 Initiative will be in pilot in fall ’22 at the Waxahachie campus only. The program will potentially expand to include all S3 classes in Waxahachie only beginning fall of ’23.

Responsibilities:

Being a peer advisor is a two-year commitment. Your role will be to serve as an advisor to lowerclassmen in their first two years of college, helping them navigate social, cultural, academic, and personal challenges in order to help those underclassmen successfully complete their degree programs and integrate into the community of SAGU.

  • Provide friendly peer support for students in acclimating to the SAGU community and to college life.
  • Serve as a role model in conduct, spirituality, and academic achievement.
  • Help students navigate their degree programs without confusion and register for courses correctly each semester.
  • Participate in advising sessions, S3 presentations, and required meetings, as scheduled.
  • Refer students to offices and individuals on campus for academic, personal, financial, or social assistance.
  • Contact each advisee bi-weekly (via text, phone, Zoom, face-to-face, etc.) with a minimum of three face-to-face meetings per semester.
  • Keep secure records of contacts, advising, degree progress of advisees, and individual items of note for each advisee, and submit to the Peer Advisor Director at midterm and end of semester.

Qualifications

  • A sophomore in good standing academically and with regard to chapel attendance and disciplinary issues.
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA
  • A passion for helping others succeed
  • Strong Christian character
  • Exceptional leadership qualities
  • Heart of a shepherd
  • Knowledge of campus activities and support systems for students to engage in community life
  • Ability to manage multiple student advisees
  • A strong understanding of degree programs and course selection process (Advisors will also be trained on this as well).
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • Recommendation of at least two faculty members

Commitment & Scholarship:

Peer advisors will be asked to make a two year commitment so there is consistency with the class. This is essential. This program includes a generous scholarship of $1,600 per semester for the peer advisor to compensate for the time investment and provide an incentive to persist with the cohort. The expected average time of connection with peers a week is 6-8 hours. Peer advisors not completing their expected work may forfeit their role and any academic scholarship associated with it going forward.

Application Process

Candidates who meet the above criteria may apply during the open window for selection. Candidates must complete an application and secure two faculty endorsements by the deadline.

Online (Google) Forms:

Hardcopy (paper) Forms:

Selection Process

The Q.E.P. Director, P.A. Director, and Director for Student Success will form a small hiring committee to evaluate potential applicants each semester. The students will be evaluated based on their qualifications and faculty endorsements. Once selected through this process, candidates will be interviewed in a group format to determine the final selection. Peer advisors will be notified of their selection by the P.A. Director.

Training

New peer advisors will be required to attend training in the semester prior to serving, and all peer advisors will attend training prior to the fall semester each year. Peer Advisors will begin their work with Welcome Week in the semester they are assigned. The Q.E.P. Director, P.A. Director and Director of Student Success will partner peer advisors with S3 coaches and will work to match chemistry and skill sets for the optimal partnership of the S3 course and L3 initiative. PAs will also be required to attend Welcome Week activities with their assigned S3 classes and some in-service meetings as required throughout the year.

Mentoring for PAs

Peer Advisors will also receive mentoring from the P.A. Director and S3 coaches. This mentoring is designed to pour back the investment into these students so they can give out of an overflow vs. serve in a place of dry weariness. It will be the advisors’ role to manage the agenda for their own development.

Questions

If you have any questions, please feel free to email the QEP leadership at [email protected].

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