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 The training registration form for the spring 2023

semester is open! Click below to register.

Training Overview

EARS Training helps foster strong personal and professional relationships by improving communication, empathy, and active listening skills. Another goal of EARS Training is to connect with our trainees as whole people and support them in their growth and well-being. We strive to make EARS Training a space of community, empathy, and learning for our trainees and trainers alike. The EARS Training program offers two semesters worth of training, with Advanced Training building upon the foundational skills from the EARS model taught in Beginning Training. 

For the spring 2023 semester, training will begin Monday, February 6, and last ten weeks. There will be no training on 2/27 and 4/3 because of February Break and Spring Break, respectively. The last day of training will be Monday, April 23. Large Group sessions are Mondays from 6-6:50 pm (locations TBD). Following Large Group sessions, trainees have a ten-minute break and Small Groups from 7-8 pm (locations TBD).

If you have questions about Training after reading the sections below or need accommodations for this experience, please do not hesitate to reach out to us by email at



The training registration form for the spring 2023 semester is open! Click the "Register Now" button at the top of the page to sign-up. All members of the Cornell student community, including those currently enrolled students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) are eligible for EARS Training. Note: All trainees must complete Beginning Training before they can register for Advanced Training, regardless of prior experience outside of EARS.

Beginning Training

The curriculum of Beginning Training includes a comprehensive peer listening, communication, and support skills model taught through interactive workshops, demos, Small Group discussions, and other practice opportunities.

Upon completion of Beginning Training, trainees are eligible to sign-up for Advanced Training or serve as an Empathy Chair.

Advanced Training

Advanced Training builds upon Beginning Training by exploring specific topics relevant to college/graduate student well-being (e.g., relationships, meaning-making, work-life harmony) and providing various opportunities to practice the EARS skills. The curriculum includes practice peer mentoring conversations, group discussions, and presentations by campus and community experts.

Upon completion of Advanced Training (including the evaluation process), trainees are eligible to join EARS Staff and serve as a Trainer or Peer Mentor.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I take Training? 

After completing Training, you will...​

  • have a greater capacity for empathy,

  • feel more confident in your ability to listen actively,

  • be prepared to provide peer support on a diverse range of issues inclusively, and

  • be familiar with a wide range of campus and local resources and understand when and how to make referrals.

Does Beginning and Advanced Training have to be taken in consecutive semesters?

No. You can take Advanced Training as long as you have completed Beginning Training, regardless of the break in between.

Do I have to become join EARS Staff after Advanced Training?

No. Although many trainees choose to join EARS staff after completing both semesters of training, it is not required to join EARS staff after Advanced Training.

Who can become an EARS staff member after Training?

While Training is open to all members of the Cornell community, only currently enrolled students are eligible to join EARS Staff.

How has Training changed since the transition from Peer Counseling to Peer Mentoring?

Since EARS no longer offers Peer Counseling and has reimagined its services to reflect peer support through our Peer Mentoring program, Training will no longer teach a formalized counseling structure. Instead, Training will equip trainees with strong listening, communication, empathy, and referral skills to provide support, mentorship, and leadership in their respective social circles and organizations. The foundation of EARS training will stay the same in that we will still teach how to become an empathetic listener, but the focus, scope, and skills will be adjusted to align with the goals of an informal conversation model.

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