Professional Learning

What is Diversity Peer Educator Program?

Diversity Peer Educator

Diversity Peer Educators are selected  groups of students, faculty and staff who are trained to provide targeted education to their peer groups regarding issues of diversity and inclusion on campus.  DPEs make presentations in response to specific training requests from their peers and host open educational session on specific diversity issues for faculty, staff and students.

DPE’s aim is to educate through peer-peer facilitation on diversity and inclusion with the goal of improving the racial climate on our campus. Several student groups participated in the 4-5 workshop series, groups included greek organizations, Marching 97, and Gryphons. Their end of year project was a collaboration between Peer Health Advisors to bring awareness to students’ perception of Anti-racism.

Diversity Peer Educator Program

The Diversity Peer Education Program‘s objective is to help establish a learning environment that celebrates diversity, promotes partnerships, and provides support to make an inclusive and culturally respectful university campus succeed. The Diversity Peer Education Program strives to promote open communication experiences that deepen understanding of culture and heritage, to promote respect for commonalities and differences in historical and cultural contexts, to encourage civic and social responsibility within our communities, and to help make the campus a welcoming place for all.

Mission Statement

Diversity Peer Educators are varied student leaders that work to create a learning environment that celebrates variety and contribute to the objective of an inclusive campus community by teaching and advocating for problems of diversity and inclusion among their peers.

VisionDiversity Peer Education

The Diversity Peer Educators will promote an intellectual co-curricular experience characterized by open communication that deepens understanding of diversity, difference, privilege, and promotes respect for commonalities and differences in historical and cultural contexts, and to encourage civic and social responsibility within our campus community.

Primary Goal

In order to enhance a more inclusive campus environment, the Diversity Peer Educators will organize dialogues with their peers about cultural understanding, diversity, and inclusion. (Ice breakers, Team Builders and Diversity Activities)

  1. To create a space where students are able to acquire cultural competence which is a skill set that will enable them to contribute to an inclusive excellence community, as well as become better prepared global citizens.
  2. To create safe spaces for UMW students to explore their own identities along with others who may possess identities different than their own and the importance of finding common ground.
  3. To engage the UMW community in meaningful dialogue concerning cultural sensitivity, social justice issues, respect and inclusion
  4. To provide students with appropriate language when discussing and/or speaking with members of marginalized identities.


Commit to helping their peers to gain insights, value, diversity, and take actions by:

  • Creating additional opportunities to discuss diversity on campus
  • Increasing appreciation of differences
  • Limiting the influence of stereotypes or single stories
  • Understanding the impact that their behaviors have on others
  • Understanding and becoming comfortable with bystander intervention techniques, and
  • Encourage bias incident reporting

Learning Outcomes:Diversity Peer Education

  • To increase general knowledge and understanding of the marginalized identities discussed
  • To engage in personal reflections which will enhance learners’ understanding of their positionality as it relates to power and privilege
  • To demonstrate cultural sensitivity to other voices

DPE Selection Criteria:

The requirements for consideration are as follows:

  • Must be a rising sophomore, junior or senior
  • Must have a cumulative GPA of 2.25 or higher
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to values of diversity, inclusion and social justice
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Must be in good academic standing with the University

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstration of leadership potential
  • Community service involvement
  • Participated in cultural, diversity, and/or social justice programs and activities
  • Taken classes in the social justice minor
  • Declared social justice as a minor
  • Attend at least one Social Justice and Leadership Summit

Examples of Diversity Peer Educator LearningDiversity Peer Education

Here are seven types of peer-to-peer learning examples commonly found in a corporate setting.

Action learning groups

Action learning groups are small groups of 5-7 people. They are peers at a similar level of responsibility and experience, usually working on solving complex problems that may appear complex or unsolvable. Action learning is a process of insightful questioning, reflective listening, generating new actions, and learning from a shared group.

While action learning focuses on teamwork, it also encourages workplace autonomy. Each team member is expected to contribute to the group, coming up with their own solutions. This helps build teams made of insightful and productive employees with good problem-solving and leadership skills.


A debate is a formal activity where a participant has a particular point of view and attempts to convince others having a different point of view to agree with the participant’s specific point of view. Debates encourage higher-order and critical thinking skills amongst all involved members.

Although debates are not always focused on generating new actions and learning, the members often implicitly learn a great deal about other points of view than their own.

Discussion groups

In discussion groups, employees share their insights and opinions to decide or enhance their understanding of a topic. Similar to debates, group discussions are also not focused on generating new actions and learning. 

Discussion groups lead to a significant exchange of ideas among members, help research and formulate arguments, identify and rectify mistakes, generate thought-provoking questions, and solve problems.


Peer coaching is a confidential, mutually beneficial relationship where two professional colleagues learn new concepts and share ideas, and solve work-related problems together. The peer coach can be a supervisor, mentor, or veteran employee in the same department. Since peers work on things together, peer coaching is not an exercise of advice or guidance but a give-and-take.

Peer mentorDiversity Peer Education

In the case of peer mentoring, a senior or more experienced individual (the mentor) is assigned to act as an advisor, counselor, or guide to a junior or trainee. A beneficial mentoring relationship includes an intentional focus on new actions and learning. Unlike coaching, mentoring tends to be more informal, less structured, and on an as-need basis required by the mentee.

Lunch and learns

Also known as “brown bag” events, lunch and learns make for a popular trend in peer-to-peer learning. The concept is simple: everyone in a group, department, or company gets together on a specific day to have lunch. During lunch, either one person presents a topic of interest, or employees talk to their peers about work-related challenges.

In these learning sessions, employees aren’t just gaining new information; they’re interacting with their peers in a relaxed and social environment, making them less intimidated and more open to sharing ideas.

Peer performance reviewsDiversity Peer Education

Peer performance review is a process where peers offer their evaluations of a reviewee’s performance, skills, competencies, or attitude. The peer chosen for this process is a co-worker who regularly interacts with the reviewee. Peer reviews provide managers with a better picture of an employee’s true strengths, weaknesses, and hidden talents.


Diversity Peer Educator Program creates a collaborative environment amongst your workforce, where new employees learn from seasoned employees, and seasoned employees can further solidify their knowledge by teaching others.

With every peer learning session, your employees use the learning loop efficiently and break through the common barriers to learning and skill-building. Diversity Peer Educator learning can be implemented via employee training software, resulting in higher learner engagement and a higher retention rate on average.


Nayab Kiran

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