Student Life Pre-Orientation Programs
The Student Life Pre-Orientation Programs provide a chance for first-year students at GW to connect with peers around a shared identity or common area of interest. Student Life Pre-Orientation Programs provide meaningful connections through immersive cohort-based experiences and allow students to explore and discover more about themselves, their new peers, and their new home in Washington, D.C. The Student Life team currently offers three exciting Pre-Orientation Programs - Adventure Bound, LEAD GW, and Founding Scholars.
The Office of Student Life recruits Peer Guides for LEAD GW and Founding Scholars annually in the spring semester for the following programs:
- LEAD GW
LEAD GW (Leadership Exploration and Development at GW) is a dynamic program that empowers students to learn more about themselves, socially responsible leadership and their new home. Participants attend leadership workshops, participate in small group activities, and explore GW and D.C. Incoming students are paired with upper-class Guides who mentor, share resources, and provide personal insights into involvement and leadership at GW.
- Founding Scholars
Founding Scholars welcomes incoming first-generation college students to life at GW. Students will build community with other first-gen students, connect with faculty and staff, and learn about valuable academic and campus resources. The George Washington University formally defines first-generation college students as those whose parents did not complete a four-year, baccalaureate degree. We also recognize that there are many definitions for what it means to be a first-gen college student and welcome participants that identify with the definition in any way.
Peer Guide Position Overview
Student Life Pre-Orientation Peer Guides are passionate and welcoming students who are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Applicants should be interested in mentoring and supporting a diverse group of incoming first-year students as they transition to life at GW. Guides are volunteers who are responsible for leading a small group and creating a fun and supportive environment for GW’s newest community members.
Benefits and Perks
Student Life Pre-Orientation Peer Guides will gain significant leadership experience; develop professional relationships with administrators; strengthen their skills in communication, facilitation and presentation, event planning and program development, problem-solving, empathetic listening and response, and more.
This is a unique leadership opportunity to make an incredible impact on the GW community and in the lives of GW’s newest students. You will be among the very first people they meet at GW and will have the opportunity to mentor these students, make genuine connections with them, and help them find success, belonging, and connection at GW.
Some other perks of serving as a Peer Guide include:
- Early move-in
- Build your resume
- Participate in and facilitate team-building experiences
- New friends! Extend your GW family and learn more about campus
- Explore Washington, D.C. with new students
Duties and Responsibilities
- Facilitate Small Group Engagement
- Work collaboratively with a co-Guide to lead a group of approximately 15 participants
- Assist small group members as they participate in activities by staying actively engaged and encouraging members to contribute to the group
- Guide a small group to locations around campus and in D.C.
- Lead discussions on GW, leadership, and/or the first-gen experience (based on program)
- Mentor Participants
- Serve as a positive role model, mentor, and GW ambassador in all phases of role
- Meet individually with small group members and answer questions that arise or recommend resources as appropriate
- Introduce participants to involvement and leadership opportunities and resources within the GW community
- Engage with participants periodically through the academic year and answer additional questions that arise during their first year
- Support Program Operations
- Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for participants and Guides
- Stay actively engaged throughout Guide training and the program
- Co-lead discussions or workshops on various topics to helping students transition to GW
Required: GW students who are rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and disciplinary standing with the University (no active violations) may apply. Peer Guides should be an involved member of the GW or local community and have strong overall knowledge of GW and D.C. Students leading or participating in other pre-orientation programs or training (e.g. SEASSPAN, Orientation Leaders, etc.) are not eligible due to scheduling conflicts. Peer Guides will need to be available to move in and start training beginning on or around August 13 with the programs beginning on or around August 17 (specific dates will be shared as they are confirmed). Peer Guides should be responsive via email over the summer.
Preferred Qualifications by Program
- LEAD GW
- Peer Guides for LEAD GW should have some familiarity with Student Life’s Definition of Leadership as well as each pillar of our Leadership Philosophy.
- Peer Guides should have a foundational understanding of student leadership concepts as well as an understanding of their own personal leadership philosophies so that they are comfortable facilitating discussions, workshops, and activities about leadership development.
- Lastly, Peer Guides should be comfortable working with both large and small groups of students and should have a good working knowledge of how to navigate around D.C. using public transportation.
- Founding Scholars
- Peer Guides for Founding Scholars should identify as a first-generation college student and/or have a strong understanding and appreciation for the first-generation college experience.
- Peer Guides should have a foundational understanding of the first-year, first-generation college experience so that they are comfortable facilitating discussions, workshops, and activities about campus resources and involvement.
- Peer Guides should be comfortable working with both large and small groups of students and should have a good working knowledge of how to navigate around D.C. using public transportation.
|February 1, 2023||Application opens at midnight|
|March 1, 2023||Application closes at midnight|
|March 10, 2023||Final decisions shared|
|March 22, 2023||Peer Guide role acceptance date|
|August 13-15, 2023*||Peer Guide early move-in and training|
|August 16-18, 2023*||
Participant move in and Student Life Pre-Orientation Programs
* The August 2023 dates are subject to change at this time; however, we are asking that all Peer Guides are moved onto campus and ready for training by August 13, 2023.
How to Apply
- Review the information on this page and follow @StudentLifeatGW for more information.
- Determine the programs for which you would most be interested in serving as a Peer Guide. The application will ask you to select one or rank them in order of preference. While we cannot guarantee placement in your top choice, we will do our best and place applicants in the role we feel they are best suited for.
- Complete the online application by the early March deadline.
- In the application, you will be asked to provide several short written responses, as well as submit a headshot (.jpg or .png).
- Final decisions will be shared in mid-March. Applicants will need to accept their role by the provided late March deadline.
If you have any questions about the Peer Guide role or application process, please contact Andrea Davis, Student Program Associate for Leadership.