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ERIC Number: ED522152
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 116
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-6708-8
The Role of Peer Advising in the First-Year Experience
Kuba, Sarah E.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
For more than 35 years, the first-year experience movement has been working to improve the first-year experience for freshmen and decrease first-year and subsequent dropout rates. The purpose of this study is to examine student perceptions of the role of peer advising in the first-year experience. Through emphasis on support, involvement, and integration, retention theory guides first-year experience programs generally and peer advising programs specifically. As a part of this inductive qualitative study, interviews were conducted with sophomore students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The participants reflected on their first-year experience generally and on the peer advising services they used specifically. Phenomenological techniques were used to design interview protocols, and analyze the interview transcripts and field notes. This study differs from other research on peer advising in its attention to the student's perceptions of the role and influence of the peer advising experience. The study sample included students from four peer advising programs. Peer advising filled many roles within the first-year experience, including institutional support and academic and social integration and involvement (Tinto & Pusser, 2006). Within those two action areas, students described six themes: (1) Participants found their peer advisors to be available. (2) Participants received first-hand advice on courses and professors derived from their peer advisors' personal experiences. (3) Although peer advisors could provide social support, participants saw peer advisors' primary role as providing academic support and reassurance. (4) Participants used peer advisors both as resources and outlets through which they could learn about other resources. (5) Participants used informal peer advising to augment formal peer and professional advising. In cases where advising experiences had been unsatisfactory, participants replaced other methods of advising with informal peer advising. (6) When comparing peer and faculty advisors, participants described peer advisors as providing more realistic and holistic advising than faculty advisors. Recommendations for practice, theory, and future research are also included. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin