Peer Mentor Job Description - PDF

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					                                                           Peer Mentor
                                                         Job Description

Summary
Peer Mentors (PMs) are upper-class students selected and trained to serve as academic and social mentors to NKU Housing
residents. The purpose of the PM position is to promote the Residential Education Model by establishing meaningful relationships
with NKU Housing residents and developing successful learning environments in the residence halls through programming and
community outreach. While it is expected that the PMs will assist in the creating and maintenance of community standards, policy
enforcement and serving in the duty rotation are not part of the PM position description.


              It should be noted that items stated below may be subject to change, but would not occur without notice.

Term of Employment

Dates of Employment for 2010-2011
         Fall Semester                                             August 5, 2010* – December 20, 2010**
         Spring Semester (returning PMs)                           January 6, 2011* – May 10, 2011**
                  *Beginning date – arrive by 5:30 p.m.
                  **Dismissal date – leave no earlier than 6:00 p.m. PMs will assist Resident Assistants with staffing the
                  desks over the break periods and will be asked to volunteer. If no staff volunteers, assignments may be
                  made to ensure staffing for the safety and security of the residents. PMs must be willing to volunteer
                  desk responsibilities if they wish to stay on campus during a break period.

Compensation

     •    Private room or efficiency apartment (temporary roommates may be assigned when full occupancy occurs)
     •    Ability to pull in a roommate(s) of your choice to fill vacant room space in room or apartment (Fall Semester only)
     •    Bi-weekly stipend of $85.00 (Stipends are adjusted during break periods where there are no classes and University
          Housing uses limited coverage). PMs who fail to complete responsibilities assigned as part of their position may have a
          paycheck(s) withheld as a result.


Essential Functions

While performing the duties of this job, a PM is regularly required to:
     •    Effectively communicate, give directions, and lead students in the event of an emergency
     •    Read and follow documents such as policy manuals and safety procedures
     •    Prepare reports and correspondence (when applicable)
     •    Lock and unlock doors using a key system
     •    Operate the master key release system
     •    Observe surroundings, identify problems or students in distress, respond according to University Housing protocol and
          immediate report concern to a RA or HD
     •    Respond immediately to potential crisis situations throughout the entire building or area during all hours by enlisting the
          help of the RA on duty or HD on duty (if necessary)
     •    Attend PM training prior to the start of Fall and Spring semesters
     •    Move in 2-3 days early to decorate resident doors and create bulletin boards (if applicable)
     •    Be present and participate in opening and closing processes
     •    Post their personal schedules on their doors to increase knowledge of availability
     •    Serve as a mediator for resident and roommate conflicts and a facilitator for roommate agreements
     •    Serve as a community developer who supports the advancement of a healthy, engaged, and respectful community
     •    Notify RA on Duty or (if appropriate) Hall Director on Duty when conduct or policy violation issues arise
     •    Collaborate with other PMs and neighboring Resident Assistants to hold community meetings at least 3 times a semester
     •    Meet bi-weekly with Hall Director/Assistant Hall Director to discuss issues/concerns of community.
     •    Attend Resident Hall Association meeting as prescribed by your respective Hall Director
     •    Attend meetings with Resident Assistant staff as well as University Housing in-service events as prescribed by respective
          Hall Director
     •    Create one bulletin board or passive program per month for floor– consistent with REM outcomes. Two passive programs
          per semester must be focused on academic success
     •    Plan and/or support outcomes-based programs in your community as subscribed by respective Hall Director. At a
          minimum, there must be a focus on two outcomes-based programs per semester, one of which must be focused on
          academic success and both must be consistent with REM outcomes
     •    Each PM must work weekly at their respective Desks, as prescribed by their Hall Director
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     •    Each PM must have one-on-ones with their assigned students as prescribed in the REM and be capable of demonstrating
          their awareness of resident interests and concerns
     •    Each PM must serve on at least one University Housing Committee (with the approval of their supervisor)
     •    PMs must participate in housing sponsored/supported events included (but not limited to) Welcome Week, Norse-a-ween,
          Black and Gold Days, MVP Days, Feast for Finals, and Student Staff Selection

A PM must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds, and frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.

Academics

To be eligible to begin employment, PMs must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA – accumulated as of start date. A PM must maintain a
3.0 cumulative and semester GPA (3.5 for graduate students) and must be enrolled as a full time student (12 or more hours as an
undergraduate student; 9 or more as a graduate student). Dropping below full time status will result in job probation and may only
occur once over the duration of an individual’s employment.
Class loads of more than 15 credits need to be discussed with your Hall Director.

In the case of dual-admit students, full time status can be split between Gateway and NKU with at least 3 credits taken at NKU
during semesters of employment.

If grades fall below the required GPA, you will be placed on job probation and will develop an academic improvement plan with your
Hall Director. The content of the academic improvement plan will be at the discretion of the Hall Director. If a PM does not adhere
to the components of the improvement plan, the Hall Director may terminate the RA’s employment. If the PM does not make
sufficient academic improvement during the probationary period, the Hall Director may terminate the PM’s employment. A PM will
not be placed on job probation more than once during their duration of employment. If the PM’s GPA is a 1.6 or lower, their
employment will be terminated immediately and they will not be placed on an academic improvement plan. A full description of the
academic improvement plan can be found in the student staff handbook received during RA training.

In addition, PMs should make every effort to avoid scheduling classes that begin after 5:00 PM.

Desk

PMs will work weekly (frequency to be determined by their Hall Director based on area needs) at one of the five University Housing
Desk areas (The Village Desk [located in Norse Commons and serving Norse and Woodcrest Apartments], Kentucky Hall,
Commonwealth Hall, University Suites and Callahan Hall). During that time, the PM is responsible for answering the phone,
addressing maintenance concerns, checking out equipment, etc. The expectations for behavior while working the desk are below.

•    No personal phone calls to be made on the business line (Callahan x8971, Norse x6999, Kentucky x5999, Commonwealth
     x6333, and University Suites x 8693). Cell phone use is also prohibited while working the desk.
•    PMs cannot leave the desk during your hours without finding coverage (no using the laundry rooms, attending student
     meetings, running errands, doing room inspections, or otherwise leaving the desk area). Bathroom breaks are permitted.
•    All doors must be locked, grates closed (KY/CW), and desk books stored before leaving the desk.
•    A PM finds someone to cover his/her shift, s/he must be able to work all of the agreed upon time (i.e. if s/he has agreed to work
     from 8-10, but would have to leave the desk at 9:30 for class, s/he could not cover that shift for you). PMs are to only have
     other PMs cover their shifts.
•    Non-staff persons are not to be behind the desk at ANY time.
•    No sleeping at the desk.
•    There should be no use of “back in 5 minute” signs or others that are similar. Exceptions can be made for check-ins, check-
     outs, bathroom visits, and any errands that a professional staff member asks to be done.
•    Food trips to the Norse Commons cafeteria are not allowed during your shifts for Kentucky/Commonwealth, and University
     Suites desk staff.
•    PMs must be properly attired (no pajamas) and ready to assist with resident needs at any time.
•    All desk staff should report, in writing to their supervisor, any missed shifts or violations of expectations.

          Disciplinary Action for Violation of Desk Procedures:
          Failure to abide by the expectations as set forth will result in job action up to and including termination.

Break Desk Hours
The following are the desk hours for official University breaks and dates when the University is closed:
 •     Labor Day- all desks open normal hours
 •     Fall Break- Village and Callahan desks open abbreviated hours
 •     Winter Break- Village and Callahan desks open abbreviated hours
 •     Thanksgiving Break- Village and Callahan desks open abbreviated hours
 •     MLK Day- all desks open normal hours
 •     Spring Break- Village and Callahan desks open abbreviated hours


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Availability

PMs are expected to attend, provide support, and even take part in the implementation of certain departmental and University
events. RAs must attend and participate in all staff training, workshop sessions and departmental programs (all components of
Fall and Spring training are mandatory).

•    Black and Gold Days (Each PM will participate in 1 during the year)
•    Multicultural Visitation Program (MVP Days – each PM will participate in 1 during the year)
•    Norse O Ween- each PM will work a shift during this event in the fall semester
•    Peer Mentor Recruitment Events (including Peer Mentor Interviews and Group Interviews)
•    Feast for Finals – All PMs will have some responsibility during this biannual program. The dates for the Feast are announced
     as soon as they become available, however it is typically held during the end of the week before final exams.
•    Opening and Closing
•    Other Workshops and/or Sessions as established by professional staff.
•    PMs will be asked to cover desk shifts during University holidays and official breaks. PMs should not make travel plans for
     holidays and breaks until they speak to their Hall Director about it first since they may be required to work during those times.

Due to the nature of the position, PMs may be expected to respond to student concerns and crisis situations during various times of
the day. Therefore, PMs are expected to sleep in their assigned room to create a presence on their floor/breezeway. If an HD has
concerns regarding a staff member’s availability, specific expectations will be outlined and communicated to that individual.
In addition, PMs must seek approval regarding nights away from campus. It is the responsibility of a PM to inform their hall director
when they plan on being out of their respective building beyond midnight.


Programming

PMs will take an approach to programming prescribed by the department’s “Residential Education Model” (REM). As stated in the
REM, PMs are responsible for the following:
•   (Fall semester only) One collaborative programming opportunity that must take place during the first three weeks of classes
•   Each semester:
          o    Creation or support of outcomes-based programs (as prescribed by Hall Director)
          o    Creation or support of intentional social programs (as prescribed by Hall Director)
          o    Creation or support of outcomes-based passive programs (bulletin board or newsletter) (as prescribed by Hall
               Director)
          o    During each semester, each PM should be sure that at least one of their programs involves faculty or staff, one
               involves making a university connection, and one is service-based.

Other REM related requirements such as floor/area meetings and one-on-ones meetings with students shall be further discussed
below.

Community Building

•    Be visible and accessible to students during non-duty hours. Specific expectations will be determined by the Hall Director for
     the area.
•    Within the first two weeks, meet the expectations of the Hall Director by way of knowing all student names within area of
     responsibility.
•    Hold an appropriate number of floor/breezeway meetings each semester. Expectations will be determined by the HD for the
     area.
•    Develop a responsible living environment in the area through community development, effective interaction and outreach.
•    Respect and maintain the confidentiality of student records in accordance with the statement of confidentiality.
•    Consistently encourage involvement and accountability by residents.
•    Show support for and keep residents informed about student organizations and activities.



Attitude

•    Have a team mentality
•    Maintain a positive, caring, and fun attitude.
•    Realize that a PM is an individual, student, and a staff member. PMs will need to balance their time to meet the needs and the
     responsibilities placed upon them.
•    Know all residents and be available. How available PMs are in the beginning of the year will set the tone for their role during
     the year.
•    Practice an open door and open mind policy.
•    Maintain a professional demeanor
          o    Be timely with meetings and paperwork
          o    Be respectful of others
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          o    Dress appropriately
          o    Be aware of the language that you use – remember that PMs represent themselves, their staff, the Housing Office
               and the University

Communication

•    Communicate on a regular basis with your Hall Director and other staff members. A PM is expected to communicate to the
     appropriate individuals regarding concerns, ideas, suggestions, or questions. If a PM feels uncomfortable speaking with
     his/her supervisor, s/he should contact another Hall Director, Assistant Hall Director or Associate Director of University
     Housing.
•    Honest communication is a necessity. In order for University Housing to support the staff in the best way, PMs need to keep
     their supervisor informed of their choices, decisions, and issues that are affecting them, which in turn affects their performance
     as an PM.
•    Tell us the whole story. No matter how bad, we would rather hear the whole truth from the PM than part of the truth from
     someone else.
•    PMs are expected to answer their door and phone if present in their room.
•    Maintain a high level of professionalism in written and verbal communication. Try to avoid gossip, slander, profanity, and
     inappropriate jokes and conversation.


Role Modeling

•    PMs are held to a higher standard of accountability and responsibility. Role modeling extends beyond residence halls – please
     remember that students will see staff across campus and even out into the community.
•    Abide by the policies set forth by the Housing Office, by NKU and by state law.
•    Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
•    Attend classes, do assignments, and maintain good study habits.
•    Abide by aforementioned academic standards
•    Do not share staff issues or concerns with those that are not on staff. Refer all concerns to Hall Directors of the Associate
     Director of Housing.

Counseling/Referring

•    Have sensitivity to and awareness of the needs, anxieties, and frustrations of each student in assigned area.
•    Never guarantee unconditional confidentiality to a resident.
•    Be aware of any signals that might imply unhealthy behavior by a resident and report such signals to us as soon as possible.
•    If a resident is sending dangerous or out of character signals, it is important to keep the situation calm. Please avoid making
     judgments in the presence of other residents as that may violate the residents’ right of confidentiality.
•    PMs are not training counselors. Be knowledgeable of University resources and be able to refer the students appropriately. If
     an PMs is unsure as to what to do, s/he should refer to Hall Director or Associate Director of University Housing.
•    Do not take responsibility for other peoples’ problems.
•    Report all resident concerns to area RA and HD.

Staff Meetings

•    Staff meetings are held weekly on Tuesdays at 9:15 pm and are mandatory (unless otherwise stated by HD). PMs must get
     prior permission from his/her hall director if s/he must miss.
•    Unexcused absences may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
•    Be on time
•    Come prepared bringing something to take notes on

One-On-One Meetings (with Housing Staff)

These are mandatory meetings that are held weekly with the Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director to discuss any issues that may
be occurring with the residents, programming efforts, and any personal issues. This time will also be used for ongoing evaluation in
the areas of:

•    Time management
•    Academic success
•    Staff relationships
•    Community building
•    Programming
•    Administrative responsibilities
•    Desk and RA duties

Unexcused absences may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

One-On-One Meetings (with students)


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PMs are expected to conduct 1:1 meetings with every resident in their area. These meetings are designed to help PMs connect
with their residents on a personal level as well as provide the residents a space to discuss goals and concerns. RAs will be
provided        with      a      resource       binder       to      help      facilitate    the      following   meetings:

•    First Meeting: Done during the first month of Fall semester with all first-year residents and then every other resident.
•    Second Meeting: Done near mid-term, this meeting is done with all first-year residents and those residents who the PM and
     HD deem to be at-risk in some way.
•    Third Meeting: The first wave of these meetings are done near the first week of February with all new residents to the
     floor/breezeway and the second is done near the first week of March with every other resident in the community.

Floor/Area Meetings

RAs are expected to hold floor/area meetings with the residents that fall under their immediate responsibility. The purpose of these
meetings is to facilitate community building, set standards and expectations, discuss rights and responsibilities, solicit programming
ideas      and         provide    a       space       for     group       discussion      to      enhance         the        community.

•    1st floor meeting must be done during the first week of school each semester
•    3 floor meetings will be held each semester

Outside Employment and Commitments

•    Outside employment is limited to 10 hours/week in another position pending approval from his/her Hall Director and the
     Associate Director of Housing.
•    The PM position takes precedence over any additional employment.
•    An PM may not engage in additional employment while on duty.
•    Failure to maintain satisfactory PM job performance as a result of outside employment may result in disciplinary action,
     including being asked to resign from one of the two positions and/or termination.
•    Discuss all activities (membership in clubs, etc.) with the HD of the area in terms of time management and commitment.
•    PMs are expected to discuss their campus involvement with their current supervisor at the beginning of each semester to
     ensure that the PM position is something that can be balanced in a staff member’s workload.
•    PMs will not associate (rush or pledge) any social fraternity or sorority or hold more than one executive office in a registered
     student organization without first discussing their intent with their Hall Director.

Confidentiality

•    PMs will have access to confidential information. This information may include: students’ social security numbers, enrollment
     status, academic standing, grade point average, restricted directory information, room assignment and personal mail. Federal
     and state legislation, as well as University policy, restrict access to and the distribution of any of this information. Understand
     that these records are for University use only.
•    In no case may an PM impart personal or work-related information in a location or manner that allows other persons to
     overhear. This prohibition against public comments includes all “evaluative comments relative to any resident, student staff, or
     professional staff member. If an PM is in doubt about a request for information, it is their responsibility to refer the request to
     their supervisor.
•    As part of the student staff position, PMs may be part of search or interview committees for positions of employment. All
     information regarding these searches is confidential and is not to be discussed or shared outside of the proceedings of the
     processes.
•    Printed confidential material must be kept from view of visitors while using information for specific job functions. Printed
     confidential information must be shredded immediately after use and before being recycled. This information should never be
     duplicated or distributed without the consent of the individual involved and the appropriate supervisor.
•    All PMs are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. A copy of the confidentiality agreement may be found in the appendix
     of this document.




Committee Assignments

•    All PMs with at least one semester of experience are required to serve on one Housing Committee.
•    A list of committees will be available and discussed during training.


Administrative Tasks

•    PMs must be timely with assigned responsibilities assigned as it can affect the ability of others to do their jobs.
•    PMs must have an answering machine.
•    PMs must check their mailbox, messages, and email account on a daily basis. Not responding to work related message is not
     acceptable. Please clean mailboxes regularly.
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•    Signs must be put up regularly on floor/breezeway.
•    Any paperwork needs to be done thoroughly and on time.
•    PMs may be asked to complete a task with a quick turnaround time and should be understanding when this happens.
•    PMs will be expected to return all itemized receipts and credit card immediately after receiving and purchasing programming
     items. If the office is closed, an PM must complete the credit card expense form by 10:00 a.m. the following day. Any card
     misuse will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. If there are any missing itemized receipts, the RA will be
     expected to pay the purchasing balance (billed to bursar account).
•    Keys:
          o     Do not lose the duty keys. Losing keys will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
          o     Duty keys are not to be given to a non-staff person.
          o     Keys are only to be used for work purposes
          o     Keying into a room
                            Unless it is a scheduled health and safety check or lock out, the HD on duty should be called prior to
                            ensure protocol is followed
                            No staff member should ever key into a residents room alone

Staff Discipline

An PM accused of violating the conditions of his or her employment will meet with his or her Hall Director to discuss the accusation.
The Hall Director may gather additional evidence and may consult with the Associate Director of University Housing before making a
decision about the case. If a Hall Director determines that a PM’s performance is substandard but does not warrant termination of
the employee’s appointment, s/he will issue a letter of warning or probation to alert the staff member that his or her work is
unsatisfactory and may include performance evaluations, and recommendations for improving the PM’s performance. If a Hall
Director determines that a PM’s performance is seriously deficient in one or more areas, s/he may issue a letter of termination. Any
sanction letters and supporting evidence will be placed in the student’s personnel file.

•    Failure to meet job expectations will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination
•    Any appeals regarding the disciplinary process will be heard by the Associate Director of University Housing. The Associate
     Director’s decision is final.
•    PMs must remain in good behavioral (no disciplinary sanctions) and financial standing with University Housing and the
     University. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
•    Hold each other accountable
          o     Please attempt to address any concerns with a staff member with that individual first
          o     If an PM is uncomfortable doing this, they should discuss the matter with their Hall Director and get advice on how to
                handle the situation
•    For all sanctions:
          o     The notice of appeal must be communicated to the Associate Director of University Housing Results of all reviews
                are final.
          o     A review of the disciplinary process will be evaluated with the following criteria:
                           Consistency of the process
                           Appropriate documentation; or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (except where sex is
                           a bona fide occupational qualification), national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status
                           or violation of free speech rights. An PM whose employment has been discontinued without cause may
                           request a review only on the ground of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (except
                           where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification), national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or
                           veteran status or violation of free speech rights.



Room Assignment Availability after Resignation or Termination

In the case of resignation or termination, University Housing will work to find on-campus housing for the former PM but this is
sometimes challenging based on availability. The process is outlined more specifically below.

1.Resignation
a. Resigned and signed up for housing through regular room selection process— If an offer is rescinded or an PM resigns before
housing assignments are made, and the PM has followed all instructions in the housing assignment process, efforts will be made to
find a housing assignment for the former PM if one is desired. The former PM must indicate to the University Housing Office his or
her desire to be considered for a housing assignment. All housing deposits and payment deadlines must also be met.

b .Resigned after assignments are made— If an offer is rescinded or an PM resigns after housing assignments are made, the PM
will not receive an automatic housing assignment. If the PM desires to live on campus, he or she must apply, pay the housing
deposit, and adhere to all payment deadlines.

c. Resigned after Fall Training start date— If an PM resigns after Fall Staff Training begins and before the end of the academic
year, efforts will be made to find a housing assignment for the former PM if one is desired. The former PM will be responsible for the
prorated amount of the cost of housing and any selected meal plan for the remainder of the semester or year, whichever is longer. If
he or she does not accept the newly assigned space and decides to move to off-campus housing, a prorated penalty of one
semester of rent will be assigned to the student account for breaking the Housing Agreement.

2.Termination

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a. Performance or GPA based— If the former PM desires to live on campus, he or she must make application, pay the housing
deposit, sign a housing and dining agreement, and adhere to all payment deadlines.

b. Failure to attend any staff training event on the mandated date and time— The PM will be terminated and not automatically
receive a Housing Assignment. If the former PM desires to live on campus, he or she must make application, pay the housing
deposit, sign a housing and dining agreement, and adhere to all payment deadlines.

Termination and Eligibility for Rehire

1.PMs may be terminated at any time based on their job performance, grades, financial standing with the University and any
changes to their judicial standings.

2.The Department reserves the right to mandate a specific time period before a PM may re-apply for a position with University
Housing following resignation or termination. In addition, the student may be asked to go through the full Selection Process, at the
discretion of University Housing Staff.

a. Resignation— If a PM resigns from his or her position, he or she is eligible for rehire if the minimum hiring requirements are met.

b. Termination (GPA based)—Any staff member who has been released due to grade issues is eligible for rehire one semester after
their release date once they have met with and gotten approval from the Associate Director of University Housing (or a designee)]
and they have had at least one semester GPA above the minimum GPA requirement or raised their cumulative GPA above the
minimum GPA requirement. A student staff member may only "leave and return" once due to grade issues.

c. Termination (Other than GPA)—He or she cannot reapply or work in any position in University Housing for one complete
semester (not including summer) after termination. He or she is not eligible for summer semester employment.




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