The Interact Program is a peer led training program originally developed in collaboration with the Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication (MLLI) program and the Student Affairs Division of UMBC. The program was created to provide 1st year students with the opportunity to develop intercultural communication skills in order to share authentically within our university community.
Our Peer Facilitators are a combination of new and returning Resident Assistants that live within the residential communities and are UMBC students who have been carefully selected to lead the program’s sessions. All facilitators are trained by our professional staff prior to leading Interact sessions.
Students who participate in the Interact Program receive four one and a half-hour training sessions led by two peer facilitators within the first six weeks of their first semester at UMBC. Each session is based on a specific curriculum developed at UMBC which focuses on listening and authenticity. The trainings involve exercises and discussions that engage students and challenge them to interact on a deeper level with fellow students at the university in order to create meaningful and lasting relationships.
What our Peer Facilitators are Saying
What Does it Mean to Interact?
“Lending an ear to the backgrounds, interests, and lifestyles of peers makes one well-rounded and sympathetic to the motivations and needs of others.” –Brent McBride
Research and evaluation on the interactions of first year students is conducted through qualitative interviews. These interviews are used to improve the program, as well as provide evidence of its affect on the students’ learning of communication and difficult dialogues. All interviews are voluntary.