Power PT - Jane Petrillo

Strategies to Recruit and Train Peer
Health Educators on College Campuses
via a Peer Health Education Course
• Dr. Jane Petrillo, Associate Professor, Department of Health,
Physical Education and Sport Science Kennesaw State
University, Kennesaw, GA [email protected] (770)423-6416
• Ms. Sabrina Petusevsky, MS, Peer Health Educator
Coordinator, Center for Health Promotion and Wellness,
Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA
[email protected]
Peer Health Educators
o The strength of peers’ influence on student learning,
attitudes, and behaviors is common knowledge.
o Peers play a highly important role in undergraduate
students’ growth and development during their college
experience (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005).
o Peer Health Educators (PHE) are often more cost effective
than hiring full time staff.
o Gains in personal growth, knowledge, and leadership
among PHE have been revealed. (Ender & Newton, 2000).
o Students gain much of their health information from their
peers – thus training Peer Health Educators with accurate,
current health information can result in positive outcomes.
(Cohen, GL, 2006; Beal AC, Ausiello J, Perrin JM, 2001)
Peer Health Educators
Recommendations for Successful Peer Health
Educators’ Programs:
• Identify the desired outcomes of a peer health education program.
• Tailor programming to the specific institution and students needs and
behaviors. (A comprehensive health needs assessment will help determine
the needs of students and the campus.)
• Comprehensive training is necessary for peer educators to acquire the
knowledge of health issues and skills for communicating effectively with
• Focus on what knowledge and behaviors can be measured and determine
the most suitable methods of evaluating program effectiveness.
• Measure behavioral change in the student population as a result of the
intervention sis difficult but note that the overall goal of such programs are to
create an awareness and culture of health on campus (BACCHUS, 2010).
Recruitment Strategies for Peer Health Educators
1) New Student Orientation – Held on university campuses each
summer – 15 Minute Presentation on Peer Health Educator Program –
(Summer of 2011 - 4,375 attended KSU New Student Orientation)
2) Resident Assistant (RA) Orientations – Held on University
campuses each summer – Present Peer Health Educator Program
Information to All RA’s
3) Residence Hall Presentations – Provide Peer Health Educator
information and program requirements to all student residents – (3-4
presentations per semester conducted at KSU)
4) Peer Health Educator Recruitment - Can occur in Selected Courses
• HPS 1000 (Fitness for Living Course required for ALL Students)
• KSU 1101 (First-Year Experience) PHE Course
Recruitment Strategies
5) Letter/Email to Faculty and Staff – Send via email to All department chairs
and faculty (undergraduate) about PHE Program
6) Flyers, A-Frame Poster, Wellness Center Website and Facebook - PHE
Program information
7) Peer Health Educators - Set up table at ALL campus wellness center events
8) Students Who Actively Serve as PHE on campus – Often randomly will
recruit a new student/friend to the program
9) PHE Program Branding – Attracts students to the PHE Program
Example: The H.O.O.T.S. -“Healthy Options and Opportunities Team.” Create tshirts and other promotional items with the H.O.O.T.S logo.
10) *Peer Health Educator Course – Create a PHE course to be offered on
campus for course credit. Also Include an assignment in PHE course
identifying 10 possible PHE student candidates.
Peer Health Educator Course
• Course can serve as the prerequisite for students
seeking Peer Educator BACCHUS Certification and as
a critical PHE recruitment strategy.
• Course designed initially as a Special Topics Course
(allowed 3-consecutive years as a Special Topics
Course via University Curriculum Review Process at
KSU– Pilot Test/Program/Course)
• Offered once a year in the Fall Semester (20 Student
Maximum, Sophomore and Junior Level Students)
• Students from ALL Majors are Eligible
• Prerequisite = HPS 1000 – Fitness for Living Course
Peer Health Educator Course
• PHE Student Eligibility Requirements at KSU:
Strong interest in preventive health
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Good academic standing (2.5 GPA)
Must be at least 18 years of age
Must have completed at least 12-15 semester hours (preferred)
Commitment to serve a minimum of 2 semesters
Ability to function as both a leader and as a supportive team member
Enthusiastic and outgoing personality
Ability to speak openly about health topics in a positive and interactive
▫ Ability to work independently (a self-starter)
• Must pass BACCHUS PE Certification Exam to pass the course – allowed to
retake (must be stipulated in syllabus)
Peer Health Educator Course
• The BACCHUS Network Certified Peer Educator (CPE)
Student Leader Empowerment Training Student
Workbook (2008)
• Introduction to health promotion programming specific
to planning, implementation, and evaluation of peer-topeer health education. Emphasis is placed on
acquiring specific skills and techniques for practical
use, and knowledge of current health topics related to
the college student population.
Prerequisite(s): HPS 1000 – Fitness for Living
Peer Health Educator Course
• This course is designed to provide classroom and
practical training for students who are interested in
learning theoretical and evidence-based approaches for
education, counseling, and presenting health
related information to fellow peers.
• Practical skills will be acquired through in-class role
plays, group discussions, reading assignments,
instructor lectures, guest speaker lectures, and both inclass and out of-class presentations.
• Additionally, students will have the opportunity to
obtain a national Certification or Peer Education (CPE)
through the BACCHUS network.
Peer Health Educator Course
COURSE GOALS/OBJECTIVES: At the end of this course, the student will:
1. Identify and discuss the various factors that affect the health decisions and behaviors of college
students today and in the past.
2. Identify the various health issues that college students face today.
3. Explore personal attitudes and beliefs concerning current health issues and how they relate to the
role of a peer health educator.
4. Acquire clear and effective listening, communication, and leadership skills.
5. Develop presentation skills to successfully gain the attention of the student body and help to
facilitate their adoption of healthy behaviors.
6. Identify the various resources on campus and within the community and be able to determine
when a referral is necessary.
7. Address the diverse student population on campus through a variety of age and culturally relevant
peer health education programs.
8. Assist in and contribute to various health outreach activities on the KSU campus.
Peer Health Educator Course
1. Check email on a daily basis in order to stay up to date with all updates
pertaining to the course as well as the H.O.O.T.S. Peer Health Education
2. BACCHUS Certified Peer Educator (CPE) Post-Test – Each student will
complete the BACCHUS CPE Post-Test upon completion of the nine CPE Training
Modules. Students must score an 80% or higher in order to receive their CPE
certificate and certification card. The CPE Post-Test will be included in the final
grade and a passing score is required to receive course credit. Active
participation in CPE training will be reflected in each student’s participation
3. Retreat – All students MUST attend the H.O.O.T.S. retreat scheduled for ONE
day during the Fall Semester. The retreat will be a full day event and will be
located at the KSU Ropes Course. Lunch will be provided.
Peer Health Educator Course
4. Research Paper/Presentation: Health Issues Affecting College Students –
Each student will choose one of the following health issues affecting college
students today: Alcohol and Other Drug and Tobacco Use, Stress, Mental
Health/Depression/Anxiety, Body Image, Eating Disorders/Disordered
Eating, Sexual Assault, or STI’s/HIV (may choose another instructorapproved topic if interested.)
• Each student will be responsible for gathering current data, statistics, and
any other relevant information regarding their chosen topic, writing at
least a 5-page (double-spaced)paper on their findings and
recommendations on how to effectively reduce the harm associated with
the health behavior through peer education. A brief presentation will be
conducted by each student on their topic to the class.
5. Quizzes – A total of 6 quizzes (separate from the CPE Test and Final
Examination) pertaining to each of the lectures covered in class. The
quizzes will be a combination of multiple choice and short answer
Peer Health Educator Course
6. Reflection Papers - Each student will be responsible for submitting three, two page
(double-spaced) reaction papers throughout the semester based on the weekly class
discussions. It must include a brief summary of what major concepts/content was
discussed in class, the student’s personal views on the extent to which the health
behavior is a problem on college campuses, whether biases and stereotypes can affect
the way the problem is handled, and two recommendations for altering the unhealthy
behavior through peer education.
7. Educational Presentations – In groups of two or three, students will be responsible
for conducting (or observing) presentations to outside groups (depending on the
number of program requests received. Additionally, in groups of two or three, students
will be required to create an interactive educational presentation on their topic of
interest to be used in a future presentation by the H.O.O.T.S.
8. Awareness Event – Students will be required to plan, implement, and evaluate a
“World AIDS Week” event on campus that will run throughout the week of November.
The assignment is designed to provide students practical experience in each stage,
from planning to evaluation, of developing an on-campus awareness event.
Peer Health Educator Course
9. Participation – Active participation in class as well as at out-of-class
programs/events (i.e. World AIDS Day, Sexual Responsibility Week, etc.) is
essential for every student. A large portion of the course will be in-class
discussions, thus each student is expected to arrive to class prepared to
10. Final Exam – The final exam will be a combination of multiple choice and
short-answer questions covering all class discussions and topics covered
throughout the semester.
11. Extra Credit – Students will have the opportunity to earn extra credit for
engaging in additional out-of class presentations, or another approved out-ofclass activity (to be determined throughout the semester). Students can earn
up to five (5) extra credit points total for each extra presentation/activity, but
can only do so a total of 2 times (for a total extra credit amount of 10 points).
Peer Health Educator Course
BACCHUS Certified Peer Educator Training
Understanding the Power of Peer Education
Strategies for Change in High-Risk Behavior
Listening Skills
Responding and Referral Skills
Intervention Skills
Developing Inclusive Peer Education Efforts
Programming and Presentation Skills
Taking Care of Yourself
Group Development and Success
Getting To Know the Resources on Campus and in the Community
Introduction to Wellness & Behavior Change
Stress Management
Sexually Transmitted Infections/HIV & Contraception
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs
Emotional/Mental Health
Body Image/Self-Esteem and Eating Disorders
Healthy & Unhealthy Relationships
Creating and Implementing Effective Presentations to Peers
BACCHUS Peer Educator Certification
• The Certified Peer Educator (CPE) Training - Prepares
peer educators in leadership skills to successfully
develop and implement campus health-related
programs. (http://www.bacchusnetwork.org/certified-peer-education-training.html)
• The data analysis of 407 CPE students from across
the U.S. revealed that CPE training produced:
▫ Increased knowledge, comfort and skills in peer
▫ Increased activity levels among veteran and new
peer educators
▫ Emergence of new, active peer educators
BACCHUS Peer Educator Certification
CPE Training :
Comprehensive, 12-hour foundation training suitable for
any health and safety focused collegiate peer education
group. Skills needed by all peer educators to:
Understand the basics of prevention
Become a caring helper to others
Provide awareness on health and safety risks
Make referrals of students at risk to professionals
Conduct educational programs and events increase their
leadership abilities
Increase awareness of personal wellness
Teach team building
BACCHUS Peer Educator Certification
• CPE Training:
▫ Nine topic modules (each approximately 90 minutes
long) make up the CPE Training Program
 Understanding the Power of Peer Education
 Strategies for Change in High-Risk Behaviors Module 2
introduces students to several health promotion
 Listening Skills
 Responding and Referral Skills
 Intervention Skills
 Developing Inclusive Peer Education Efforts
 Taking Care of Yourself
 Group Development and Success
Peer Health Educator Resources
Hong, L. (2011). Peer Health Education Concepts and Content. San Diego,
CA: University Readers Publishing.
Melichar, A.; McNeil, M. Assessing & Evaluating Your Peer Education
Program. (2011)
Peer Health Exchange. (2012). (http://www.peerhealthexchange.org/phesites.htm)l
The BACCHUS Network. (2011). Certified Peer Education Training.
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