Sexual Health Peer Education

Become a sexpert!

The sexual health peer education experience

The Office of Health Promotion and Education offers students of all sexual orientations and backgrounds a unique and valuable opportunity to receive training to become a sexual health peer educator. The program works to educate individuals about sexual health through presentations and a variety of campus events. Sexual health
peer educators provide their peers with the information and skills needed to help them make healthier choices about sex and relationships. Training and serving as a peer educator is a rewarding experience—personally, professionally, and academically.

Western Michigan University ranks 11th in the nation for best sexual-health education programs.

Benefits of being a peer educator

  • Develop the ability to effectively present both complex and sensitive information to small and large audiences
  • Develop the ability to facilitate group discussions on difficult topics
  • Grow in self-confidence and poise
  • Build your resume for graduate school and employment
  • Receive formal documents for your portfolio
  • Earn letters of recommendation
  • Earn academic credit
  • Fulfill an internship or field experience requirement in your major
  • Become knowledgeable about important health issues
  • Make connections on campus: meet faculty and staff
  • Make new friends: be part of a team that works closely together
  • Make a difference: do meaningful work
  • Become the go-to “sexpert" in your crowd!

Want to apply?

If you are interested in becoming a Sexual Health Peer Educator please fill out the application here. 

  • Applicants who meet minimum requirements will be contacted and a 30-minute follow-up meeting will be scheduled

If you have specific questions about becoming a sexual health peer educator or would like to request a presentation for your group, organization or class, please call or email:

Samantha Weaver
Sexual Health Coordinator
Health Promotion and Education
Phone: (269) 387-3263
Email: hpe-shga@wmich.edu

What do peer educators do?

This program consists of a two-semester commitment and is designed to prepare students to become peer educators of sexual health. Sexual health peer educators will present programs to students on WMU’s campus as well as local high schools and community colleges. Sexual health presentations and initiatives cover a number of issues and topics including: the elements of healthy intimate relationships, including healthy communication; common risky behaviors of college students; prevalent sexually transmitted infections and methods of protection; and available methods of contraception.

Peer educators attend weekly professional development classes that increase their knowledge and proficiency of sexual health information. Peer educators learn the basics of the program by attending weekly practice sessions in addition to the weekly classes. Practice sessions help peer educators work to build the techniques involved in successful presentation skills.

Basic requirements

  • Must be willing and able to make a two-semester commitment (fall/spring or spring/fall)
  • Must be able to give six to 10 hours per week to program-related work
  • Must be available for weekly professional development class
  • Must be available for weekly practice sessions. Two to three times will be available to choose from.
  • Must be available to attend weekend certification training, dates will be discussed at interview

In selecting students to be peer educators, we attempt to achieve a diverse group that represents all students at Western. We encourage students of any gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and nationality to apply.

Earning certification

One reward for successfully completing your two-semester commitment is earning national certification as a sexual health peer educator. Certification gives you:

  • A formal certificate stating that you have successfully completed national training and service as a SHPE during a specified period of time.
  • An official letter that states in detail the nature of your training, service, and skills. You can include this letter in your portfolio and use it when applying for grad school or employment.
  • A guarantee that the coordinator of the SHPE program or the director of Health Promotion and Education will promptly and thoughtfully respond to all requests by you for letters of recommendation or telephone reference interviews.

In order to earn certification and its components, you must:

  1. Complete two full semesters as a sexual health peer educator, and
  2. Fulfill all of the requirements established for sexual health peer educators, to a level equivalent to a 'B' grade.
  3. Complete a certification exam with 80% or higher.