We recruit new listeners twice per year! To begin the application process, attend one of our info sessions, hosted at the beginning of every Fall and Spring semester. Fall 2023 applications are currently closed, but please check back at the beginning of the Spring semester if you are interested in joining!
Students from any of Columbia’s four undergraduate schools (CC, SEAS, Barnard, and GS) are encouraged to apply! Unfortunately, due to limited trainer availability this semester, we are only able to accept freshmen and sophomores for the training class of fall 2023.
Join us to learn about what’s involved with the training process, the application process, and being a Nightline listener! If you have any questions or concerns, you can message us on Facebook or email us at [email protected]. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to see updates about getting involved with training. Hope to see lots of you there!
“Every time I take a call, I feel privileged to be able to hear stories from those in the Columbia community I would never have crossed paths with otherwise. It’s also really fulfilling to just be there for someone, often knowing that I am the first person they are speaking to so openly about their struggles. Anyone who wants to both contribute to and be a part of an empathetic and loving community should definitely consider Nightline!”
-Anonymous Nightline Listener, 2020
I’m interested in becoming a Nightline Peer Listener. How can I get involved?
The first step is to attend an Information Session, offered at the beginning of each semester (see above for more information). At this session, you will gain detailed information about our required semester-long training and certification process. After the Information Sessions, we will send out an application and then hold group interviews to select our training class, which generally begins by the third week of each semester. Please fill out this form if you would like to be emailed the next time we open up applications. If you have more questions about getting involved with Nightline, please contact our directors at [email protected] or through our Instagram page.
Why should I consider joining Nightline?
Empathetic students who are committed to making a change in others’ lives tend to gravitate towards Nightline. Students who have gone through our training program have expressed that it is a transformative experience through which they were able to have a great impact on the community. Training to become a listener is also a great way to improve speaking and listening skills. By joining the Nightline staff, members enter a warm and caring community of peers.
How large of a commitment is being a Nightline Peer Listener?
Training to be a Peer Listener and serving as a Peer Listener are both large commitments. The training process is over 40 hours during the training semester, including a two-hour weekly training seminar, weekly roleplay calls, and a final test that must be passed in order to become certified. Prospective applicants should note that, for some individuals, training and certification could carry on into the first few months of the 2nd semester. Nightline expects its members to consider their roles as trainees or Peer Listeners as top priorities. Once on the lines, Listeners take one to two five-hour shifts each month, assist with training and certification, and attend biweekly staff meetings. Please keep in mind that in addition to the time commitment, serving as a Peer Listener is an emotionally and mentally strenuous job.
What will I learn in Nightline training?
Our training curriculum covers a wide variety of topics and skills needed to provide our services. Topics that are covered in training begin with academic and career stress and progress to self-harm and suicide, addressing a range of issues in between such as sex and sexuality, eating disorders, and mental illness. These topics are taught by mental health professionals from the Columbia and Barnard communities. Two experienced Listeners lead the skills-based section of training, which focuses on the fundamentals of active listening. Because of our thorough training process, no prior experience working in mental health care or counseling is necessary to become a Nightline Listener.
If I train for or join Nightline, can I put it on my resume?
All Nightline peer listeners are anonymous, and we take anonymity very seriously. However, because training for Nightline and serving on the lines is a large commitment and teaches important skills, listeners are allowed to list Nightline on their resumes, provided that discretion is used and that the resume will not be seen by students of the Columbia University community.
If I decide to train to become a Peer Listener, can I tell my friends?
Nightline has a strict anonymity policy for all people who serve as Peer Listeners or go through the training process. We ask that you respect this policy and refrain from telling others that you are training to become a Peer Listener.
Who can train for Nightline?
Students from all four undergraduate colleges of Columbia University (CC, BC, SEAS, GS) may apply to train for Nightline. Undergraduates in their senior year and graduate students are not permitted to undergo the training process.
Why do you currently only accept freshmen and sophomores?
Because training takes a significant amount of time and resources on our end, we can only train undergraduate freshmen and sophomores to ensure that those we train have several semesters to work on the lines before graduating. Otherwise, staff turnover rates would make our work unsustainable. We are sometimes able to accept juniors in certain years depending on the amount of staff availability we have to devote to training. However, unfortunately we are unable to do so for the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters. We deeply regret that we don’t have enough resources to train everybody, but we are unable to make exceptions to this rule.
I know someone that I think would be a great Peer Listener. What should I do?
Please consider nominating them to join our next training class. We hold training classes every semester and are always looking for new people to join our staff. Fill out this form to anonymously nominate someone, and our directors will contact them.
I have a question that is not answered here. Who can I contact for more information?
I would love to support Nightline, but I’m not sure that being a Peer Listener is a good fit for me. Are there other ways to get involved?
We appreciate your support! Please check out the community members section for information on how Columbia University members can support our organization.
If I train for Nightline, can I continue to use its services?
No. Unfortunately, because of our commitment to anonymity between callers and listeners, students who begin training for Nightline are no longer permitted to use its services, even if they do not complete training.