The first year of college is hard. Northern Arizona University Academic Transition Programs wants to make it a little easier.

Academic Transition Programs (ATP) is prepared to support them as they begin their coursework. Through the department’s work, first-year students are given a peer navigator who aims to support these students as they navigate NAU. Peer navigators are upper-class students who want to use their experiences to help first-year students learn the ins and outs of NAU and how to be successful.

“The navigators strive to help first-year student succeed both academically and socially,” said Michelle Gardner, recruitment and program coordinator at ATP. “Ultimately, they want these students to love being a Lumberjack, and they do this through class instruction and mentoring. Peers are exceptionally more influential and informed about life on this campus. They know the inside tricks to navigating college.”

ATP is seeking to employ more than 70 new peer navigators to join this effort. Peer navigators are student employees who support the mission of ATP. They work about 10-15 hours per week and are given an incredibly large set of skills and experiences to utilize in their future employment/graduate school search. The positions connect with all majors and provide opportunity for the growth and expansion of transferrable skills employers are seeking from candidates.

“Being a peer navigator allows me to reach the best possible version of myself,” said Gabriella Vida, a senior education major who is a peer instructor and recruitment program assistant. “It gives me the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on first-year students who may not have had the support or resources I was fortunate to have. Not only that, but it gives me the chance to tell first-year students that it’s OK to struggle and make mistakes your first year of college because you’re not alone.”

Learn more about the program and how to apply at the Academic Transition Programs website.