Be a PAL!

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Peer Academic Leaders

Accepting applications through 9:00 AM on February 26th, 2015

The University Advising Center (UAC) is pleased to announce that we are entering our second year of the Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) program in collaboration with Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH). The primary goals of PALs are to help students better understand the University Curriculum and utilize academic resources through peer mentoring. Other universities across the country have seen improved student satisfaction and competence through the implementation of similar programming. Through PALs, SMU students will have the opportunity to actively shape the learning experience of their residential commons.

Position Description

PALs are a diverse group of undergraduate students who share a common desire to help other students navigate academic challenges. Under the direction of the University Advising Center, PALs work directly with first and second year residents, empowering them to take ownership of their collegiate careers through mentorship and educational programming.


  • 3.0 Cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Currently be under the University Curriculum
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing with the University
  • Responsible, reliable, flexible, with the ability to work independently
  • Tech savvy with social media knowledge(e.g., Blackboard, facebook, twitter)
  • Excellent planning, communication and organizational skills
  • Must live in Residential Commons

General Responsibilities:

  • Serve as R.C.-based liaison to the University Advising Center
  • Teach students to  navigate and use ACCESS.SMU (search for classes, lift holds, enroll for classes, etc)
  • Understand the components of the University Curriculum and assist students in utilizing their Degree Progress Report (DPR)
  • Understand and disseminate information surrounding deadlines, important dates, and the First-Year Repeat Policy
  • Hold weekly drop-in hours (3 hrs/week)
  • Attend monthly meeting with PAL supervisor(s)
  • Serve as advising interns during Summer A.A.R.O sessions†
  • Assist with marketing and promotion of campus academic initiatives
  • Facilitate academic workshops and presentations (Time management, Test preparation, UC 101, etc.)

†Not a requirement but encouraged if PAL is available

Training Requirements:

  • Attend all PAL Training sessions and select days during RA Training
  • Participate in other trainings as necessary*

*There may be a need for additional trainings throughout the term

Note: PALs are expected to participate fully in training sessions. Special arrangements can be made for academic obligations. Arrangements must be made prior to the absence.

PAL Selection (selection will include):

  • Formal application (3 professional references required)
  • Group interviews


  • Develop leadership skills by guiding peers through experiential education program
  • Gain event planning experience through coordination and execution of programming
  • Serve as liaison to the University Advising Center
  • Priority housing in Residential Commons
  • Obtain “Oral Communication” Proficiency**

**Will require additional documentation


The link to the application is:

  • You MUST use the URL above as URLs copied from your browser address bar will NOT work for other users.
  • If you are having issues accessing the form, log out of your ORGS account, then click on the link, and then log-in.

Contact:  Ashley Ferrel ( or Sheumona Miller ( with questions or for additional information.