In spring 2017, the Women’s Resource and Action Center launched the Certified Peer Educator (CPE) Program. The goal of this program is to bring student voices into the violence prevention education efforts across campus.
Each year, ten students receive training and certification through NASPA to be peer educators on campus. These students then co-facilitate violence prevention workshops about consent, healthy relationships, bystander intervention, and dismantling rape culture. Each peer educator co-facilitates with a professional staff member of the violence prevention team. This partnership to enhance interpersonal violence prevention conversations and training on campus has expanded the reach of these trainings across campus and has had significant impact on participants and the peer educators.
After attending healthy relationships 97% of students reported that they knew how to communicate a healthy boundary, and 99% of students could define consent and how to practice it after attending a consent workshop. Additionally, after attending an enthusiastic consent workshop, one participant wrote, “[I] learned a lot of important things about not only consent in sex, but in life.” Another wrote that after the healthy relationships workshop, “I will think more critically about the choices I make and at the same time be able to recognize if a partner is treating me fairly.”
Workshops about bystander intervention also teach students about how to help out in safe and effective ways when they see someone who needs help. 98% of students who attended a bystander intervention workshop could identify an effective bystander intervention strategy that they would be comfortable using when needed. One participant said that, “[the bystander intervention workshop] was very informative and brings awareness situations people don't want to talk about.”
The CPE program also gives students who are peer educators a unique national certification and an important set of skills. Peer educators learn presentation and facilitation skills as well as information about the topics covered. Participation in the program has improved students’ ability to apply skills learned in the classroom and given leadership opportunities for them amongst their peers. Logina Mostafa said, “[Being a CPE] helped me with my public speaking skills and provided a concrete application for my academic curriculum. It has also empowered me to expand my leadership qualities and help others do the same.” The program has also helped students become connected to campus. Madison Hoffman writes about her time in the CPE program, “It has made me feel as though I am a part of the University as well as the greater change here on campus. The program has been one of the most beneficial parts of my time here at the University.”
2019 Year In Review
This article is part of the 2019 Year in Review, which highlights some of the Division of Student Life's accomplishments from the previous academic year.