About Us

Mission Statement

The mission of the Psychology Peer Advising (PPA) Practicum program at James Madison University is to provide quality peer advising services to the department of psychology, to provide applied undergraduate training in advising, leadership and professionalism skills, to increase the use of innovative technology in advising practice, and to produce quality scholarship in advising.

Vision Statement

To be nationally recognized as a standard of excellence for practice, programs, and scholarship in peer advising practicum programs.

Our Core Values

Service – To actively serve psychology students, the psychology department, James Madison University, and the community. We share the responsibility of advising with the faculty.

Attitude – To exemplify a positive attitude throughout our practices, projects, and every day life.

Leadership – To exhibit, promote, and develop leadership.

Teamwork – To create an environment that fosters teamwork among its members and with those whom we help.

Excellence – To always strive to do our best in everything we do.

About the Program

Psychology Peer Advisors are knowledgeable in the areas of college and departmental academic requirements, career and graduate school information, and career decision-making skills. They serve as mentors for new Psychology majors and for those who have been admitted into the major program. There are currently thirty Peer Advisors providing services for the Department of Psychology. 

At James Madison University, Psychology Peer Advising is offered as a series of rigorous academic courses. Peer Advisors receive two credit hours each semester they are involved for a maximum of eight credit hours over the course of two years. Junior Peer Advisors are enrolled in PSYC 301 Psychology Peer Advising Training I during the Fall semester, and PSYC 302 Psychology Peer Advising Training II in the Spring semester. Both courses fulfill general elective requirements. Senior Peer Advisors are enrolled in PSYC 401 Advanced Psychology Peer Advising during both the Fall and Spring semesters and receive upper-level Psychology elective credit.

Video testimonial about the program

What We Do

In addition to fulfilling advising office hours and departmental service requirements, Peer Advisors are evaluated on numerous projects and presentations, such as symposia, articles, service-learning experiences, and other materials related to academics, advising, and Psychology. Peer Advisors also collect and analyze data regarding office services and the effectiveness of the advising that is offered. 


The Peer Advising program was founded as an organization in the fall of 1991 by Dr. Eileen Nelson, a JMU Psychology professor. Peer Advising began with five psychology majors who received training and assisted with the organization of the Peer Advising Office. In 2000, the program was turned over to Dr. William Evans. Dr. Evans oversaw Psychology Peer Advising for 11 years. Beginning in the fall of 2011, Professor Kimberly DuVall took over as the faculty director and turned the Peer Advising Organization to the Psychology Peer Advising Practicum Program. Since beginning with five students in 1991, we have grown to a yearly group of thirty Psychology Peer Advisors, both Juniors and Seniors, whom are constantly striving for excellence in serving the Department of Psychology, James Madison University, the community, and students like you!