/ Student Development

Become a Peer Educator

Students Teaching and Empowering Peers is a group of Hope College students that wish to educate, empower and encourage members of the campus community.

  • Educate and inform other students about forms of interpersonal violence (i.e., sexual assault, violence in relationships, harassment and stalking)
  • Empower those impacted by interpersonal violence to seek resources and support
  • Encourage members of the campus to be active bystanders

STEP educators facilitate the delivery, planning and development of programs and services related to sexual and relationship violence prevention and education at Hope College.

STEP educators report to the STEP student directors and STEP advisor and work collaboratively with STEP committees, Hope College campus partners and community partners to advance intersectional, evidence-based and student-centered sexual and relationship violence prevention efforts. These prevention efforts may include

  • Interactive workshops and trainings
  • Campus-wide community-engagement events and programs
  • Awareness-raising campaigns
  • Targeted outreach programs to various sectors of the campus community
Desired Characteristics of a STEP Educator
  • Sincere desire to increase personal knowledge and understanding of the prevalence of forms of sexual and relationship violence on college campuses and its impact on affected students
  • Enthusiasm, initiative and leadership potential
  • Ability to give and receive constructive feedback
  • Interpersonal skills such as (but not limited to) empathy and communication
  • Creativity skills such as (but not limited to) digital design, storytelling, creative thinking and content creation
  • Willingness to lead small to medium-size group discussions
  • Desire to grow and develop leadership and professional skills
Required Qualifications of a STEP Educator
  • Currently enrolled, degree-seeking student at Hope College
  • In good judicial standing with the college
  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher from the time of acceptance to the end of the STEP educator contract
  • Full participation in all required STEP general meetings as well as required training and development, including new educator training and occasional weekend development days
  • Ability to commit to the STEP program for a minimum of school year, August through May
  • Willingness to complete, at a minimum, five hours of direct participation to the STEP program each semester (not including STEP general meetings)
Training Overview

STEP educators are required to complete approximately 25 hours of training before participating as an active member in the organization. Training topics include:

  • Introduction to STEP
  • Definitions and prevalence of forms of sexual, domestic and gender-based violence
  • Theories of oppression and violence to develop an understand as to why violence occurs
  • Evidence-based strategies for violence prevention, including utilizing primary, secondary and tertiary public-health prevention interventions
  • Campus and community resources for supporting survivors
General Responsibilities of a STEP Educator
  • Community developer
    • Get to know fellow STEP educators and members of the campus community; build good working relationships with the other members of STEP as well as get to know the needs of the wider Hope community
    • Be available and approachable during events and programs
    • Plan and execute various STEP events and programs to engage various sectors of Hope Community
  • Educator
    • Participate in the planning and implemention workshops and programs that challenge students to grow their awareness of sexual violence prevention topic areas such as healthy relationships, consent, bystander intervention and survivor support
    • Collaborate on the creation of regular social media and other passive education materials that reach, teach and engage the Hope community
  • Team player
    • Support fellow STEP educators
    • Attend and be on time for all meetings
    • Be an active and responsible member of the STEP program team and actively participate in assigned committees
  • Administrator
    • Communicate in a timely manner with members of the STEP program team, including committee leaders and directors
    • Keep track of direct participation hours
    • Initiate checking in with directors and fellow STEP educators if a meeting is missed, and complete make-up assignments or meetings in a timely fashion