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Peer Empowerment Program

Peer Empowerment Program (PEP) exists to support and contribute to holistic growth and success of first-year students who come from underrepresented and underserved groups/backgrounds including, but not limited to U.S. ethnic minority students, first-generation college students, and/or students who identify as low-income and demonstrate an academic need.

PEP is designed to provide information and connections to 24 first-year students to thrive in college and promote continuous development through peer-to-peer coaching and awareness of academic and co-curricular campus resources. Barriers and challenges that come with transitioning to college are addressed throughout the program, including an understanding of academic expectations and discussing how to navigate cultural differences.

Services for P.E.P. Participants

  • Peer-to-Peer Coaching: Success coaching to help first-year students thrive both inside and outside the classroom. Focuses on transitions (adjusting to college life) to transformation (realizing potential and dreams). Coaches will be able to answer questions about college life, provide insider tips, advice on academics, getting involved, and more.
  • College Success Workshops and Community-Building Events: College success topics include academic skills, financial aid, major exploration, resume-building, time management, etc. Community-building events would be dessert or movie nights, attending a campus event together.

PEP offers a pre-Welcome Week orientation giving you a head start to your college journey at Bethel. During these two days, you will be introduced to what PEP is through a series of interactive activities and workshops led by staff, faculty and administrators. We also know how beneficial it is to build connections in college so you will get to know returning students who will serve as coaches and other first-year students who are participating in the orientation with you. This pre-Welcome Week orientation is free! If you are signed-up to live on-campus, you will also get to move in early! Space is limited. After PEP orientation, you will transition with the rest of the incoming students and join in on the Welcome Week programming.

***All participants of our pre-Welcome Week orientation will be expected to engage in the academic-year component of PEP throughout your first year at Bethel. You will be matched with a student coach and meet at least two times a month. There will also be monthly workshops and events planned geared towards college success and community-building for you to attend.

Program Objectives

  1. To familiarize first-year students to academic and co-curricular campus resources that will support successful transition to Bethel University
  2. To empower and be empowered — participants and coaches from diverse backgrounds thrive
  3. To provide opportunities to first-year students to build meaningful connections and community

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to locate, access, and utilize resources within the university that can aid the transition into college and provide support toward graduation
  2. Students will be able to develop productive skills, traits, and habits that promote success in college and beyond
  3. Students will be able to successfully conclude their first year at Bethel University


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