Course Description: This course provides students the opportunity to serve as a peer counselor. Students will learn active listening, stress-relief and coping skills, and peer mediation along with other components of a dynamic peer leader program. Students will also have an opportunity for self-exploration, learning more about how to support themselves as well as their peers. Students will be available to their peers for academic tutoring (on a limited basis), give tours to new students, and be responsible for other peer mediation and peer counselor responsibilities . The focus of this course is to increase the overall school climate and student wellness. In addition, the class gives students an opportunity to improve their teamwork, leadership, self-advocacy, and peer-advocacy skills. Students will be trained on how to refer peers to appropriate adult support. Students who would be interested in this class may be considering a career in education, psychology, counseling, social work, or other helping professions. Students should be upbeat, wanting to promote a positive culture in the school, be able to take initiative, and have a desire to help others. Students must be in good academic standing with at least a 2.0 GPA in order to be considered.
Course Setup: Students will meet as a class one time per week during a lunch period block day (4th, 5th, or 6th period). The class curriculum will consist of training in active listening and peer mediation, team-building exercises, planning outreach projects, and improving school climate. Students will also be assigned for one period a day in the Counseling Office as a Peer Counselor (usually with one or two other Peer Counselors) to utilize their training and be available for peer mentoring, tutoring, consultation, mediation, support, and tours to new students. Students will also be expected to attend some evening events as a student guide or to represent the Peer Counseling program at an information booth.