Student Leadership

Step into student leadership

Do you have strong leadership and communication skills and a desire to help others? Do you have creativity and commitment? If you want to make a difference at IU Columbus, you are exactly who we are looking for!

Being an Orientation Leader and/or Peer Mentor is a great opportunity for current students to be paid while serving in a leadership capacity. Your experiences in student leadership here will help you build many transferable skills such as effective communication, facilitation, teamwork, and the ability to establish positive relationships with diverse individuals. This is also an excellent opportunity to improve and enhance your personal leadership style. Your participation is a good resume-builder that will help make you marketable among future employers. 

Take time to read through the qualifications and requirements for each position, then apply for one or both with a single application!

Becoming an Orientation Leader

Orientation Leaders (OLs) are current students who help new and transfer students take their first steps towards a successful college career at IU Columbus.

You will be paired with another OL during New Student Orientations to lead a group of new students and their parents to multiple sessions throughout a New Student Orientation session. OLs lead tours, conduct presentations, and answer questions to help new students and their guests transition to the university.

A positive attitude and school spirit are essential! It is important that you feel comfortable interacting with others and speaking in front of a group. You must be enrolled as an IU Columbus student in Spring 2024 and returning in Fall 2024. You must be in academic and disciplinary good standing with a 2.5 minimum GPA.

Orientation Leaders earn $10.15/hr. 

Four orientations are scheduled for Summer 2024. Each orientation will last from 8:30AM-1:20PM, with some students having a personalized appointment schedule after 1:20PM. Orientation Leaders will report to work approximately one hour prior to orientation and continue to work until about 30 minutes after the session ends (about 6.5 hours). There may be an opportunity to continue working up until 5PM, depending on the capacity and needs of the orientation. OLs will work on Welcome Wednesday and choose two Welcome Week events at which to work.

OLs are required to attend three paid training sessions. During training, OLs will be provided all the information and tools they need in order to be ready for summer orientations.

Since orientations are scheduled during the summer, we understand applicants may not be available for all orientations due to summer classes. We encourage you to still apply even if you will not be able to attend all orientations, but please understand that preference will be given to students who can attend the most orientation sessions.

Training Dates

June 14, 1PM-4PM

June 28, 1PM-4PM

July 12, 2PM-4PM

Orientation Dates (end times are approximate)

  • Saturday, July 13, 7:30AM-1:30PM
  • Friday, July 26, 7:30AM-1:30PM
  • Friday, August 2, 7:30AM-1:30PM
  • Friday, August 16, 7:30AM-1:30PM

Additional Dates

  • Welcome Wednesday, August 21
  • Welcome Week, August 26-30, events TBD

In serving as an Orientation Leader, you will:

  • Enhance your communication, listening, and facilitation skills
  • Demonstrate personal responsibility for actions and decisions
  • Understand the benefits of attending IU Columbus and be able to articulate those benefits to students and parents
  • Represent yourself and the university in a professional manner
  • Establish and foster positive working relationships with students, faculty, and staff
  • Cultivate an environment that is inclusive, civil, and welcoming to diverse populations
  • Improve your ability to work effectively within a team
  • Understand student transition issues and the impact of student engagement on campus
  • Gain a basic understanding of university structure
  • Identify campus resources and provide appropriate referral information
  • Build confidence and enhance your personal leadership style

Becoming a Peer Mentor

Peer Mentors serve as mentors to incoming first-year students at IU Columbus and collaborate with an instructor to help create a welcoming environment in a First-Year Seminar (FYS) course. 

Each Peer Mentor will co-instruct a fall FYS with a full-time faculty or staff member. First-year seminars are designed to teach first-year college students skills that will help them be successful in college. Topics that may be discussed include:

  • Study skills
  • Time management
  • Campus resources
  • Personal values
  • Major and career exploration

Some First-Year Seminars are discipline-specific (for example, EDUC-F 110 has an education focus, and students are primarily interested in education majors). Students who are not in a discipline-specific seminar will take UCOL-U110. Students from a wide variety of majors take UCOL-U110, including exploratory majors. Generally, one peer mentor will be assigned to each class.


Applicants should have a desire to make a difference on campus and help first-year students succeed! You must be enrolled as an IU Columbus student in Spring 2024 and returning in Fall 2024 as a sophomore, junior, or senior. You must be in academic and disciplinary good standing with a 2.5 minimum GPA. 


Peer Mentors typically serve mid-August through mid-December, although there are required paid training sessions during the summer. Peer mentors average 6-10 hours per week through the fall semester. Additionally, interested peer mentors have the opportunity to mentor a First-Year Seminar again in the spring semester, pending section availability. 

Peer Mentors earn $10.15/hr. 

Training Dates

May 9, 10AM-3PM

One additional training between August 1 & August 5

As a Peer Mentor, you are expected to:

  • Be an appropriate role model for new students both inside and outside of the classroom, including maintaining academic eligibility, making responsible decisions, creating professional relationships with students in the course, and being a living example of a successful college student (full class participation, regularly attending class, being prepared for class, adhering to university policies, maintaining a positive attitude, etc.).
  • Be an approachable resource to your students by being familiar with campus policies, informing them regularly about campus events and services (making the appropriate referrals when necessary), and supporting the relationship of the students with the instructor.
  • Be sensitive to the personal nature of what students may share about themselves and keep all information strictly confidential.
  • Facilitate learning for your students by building a community, contributing ideas for assignments and activities, and leading class discussions.
  • Create a fun and stimulating learning environment, focusing on each person as an individual (i.e. use names and emphasize personal acknowledgement) while being aware of and attentive to the diversity within the group.

Ready to apply?

Successful applicants will show leadership and commitment through depth of application materials and during their interview. All members of the vibrant and diverse IU Columbus student body meeting the position requirements listed above are encouraged to apply!

Federal Work Study is preferred but not required for these positions.

Apply now!


Questions? Contact us!

Orientation Leaders

Sarah Akemon

Student Services Coordinator


Peer Mentors

Kari Spurgeon, M.S.Ed.

Academic Advisor