Peer Mentors: by fhHQ7z


									      Peer Mentors:
    An Essential Component of
Successful Transition Programs
              Jennifer Layton McCluskey, Ph.D.
                 Director of Retention Initiatives
              Maryville University of Saint Louis
Maryville University of Saint Louis
Private, four-year institution
Located in 20 minutes west of downtown St.
3,100 students (1,500 undergraduate; 500
 graduate; 1,100 Weekend & Evening
500 residential students
Schools of Business; Education; Health
 Professions; Liberal Arts & Professional
Overview of the Session
What is a Peer Mentor program?

Reasons to implement or support
 implementation of a Peer Mentor program

Strategies on how to implement a Peer
 Mentor program

Discussion: Your experience with Peer
 Mentor programs at other institutions
PEER MENTOR: General Definition
Provides ongoing support for new students
 entering a new environment or experience.
Encourages student success in the
 collegiate environment.
Other terms used at other colleges…
  Peer Educator
  Peer Tutor
  Peer Assistant
  Peer Leader
  Peer Advisor
Utilizing Peer Mentors
 Student Transition, Advising, & Registration (S.T.A.R.)
    Advising sessions during spring and summer
    By school/major
    Student leadership team
 Academic Success Center
    Peer Tutor program
 New Student Orientation
    Weekend prior to classes beginning
    Optional
    2 student leaders per 20 students
 Freshman Seminar
    Required, 3-credit course
    Taught by full-time faculty (70%) and staff (30%)
    Orientation Team member
    Ongoing support during first semester
Peers in Academic Advising (S.T.A.R.)
 Identify outstanding students in each school
  Faculty nominations
  Students with work study
 Training
  Educate students on course options and degree
  Refrain from subjective comments re: faculty
 Assist primarily with scheduling, not advising
 4 S.T.A.R. programs held in the spring and
  summer for fall registration
 Faculty assistance
  1:1 advising still occurred with a faculty member
 Request ideas for enhancements for future
Peers in Academic Success Center

Nominations for Peer Tutors
  Faculty only
Selection process
  Application and interview
  Ongoing training on learning styles, etc.
  Required to read Students Helping Students
Tutors are paid; Service is free
All subject areas
Peers in New Student Orientation
 Nominations
  Faculty, Staff, Student Organizations
 Selection process
  Application process, One on one interview, group
 Training
  5 Day Training divided between spring and fall
 Weekend program held immediately prior to fall
 Link returning students with new students
  (freshmen and transfer)
 Request ideas for enhancements for future
Peers in Freshman Seminar Course
 New Student Orientation Team Leaders
    If selected for Orientation, eligible to apply for Freshman
     Seminar Peer Mentor
 Pairing with faculty
    Connect based on varied interests/schools
 Training
    Orientation Team Training
    3 hour training specifically for INTD101 Peer Mentors
    Meet bi-weekly throughout semester
 Class presentations
    Academic integrity
    Alcohol and drug use/abuse
 Clarifying roles
    Year one: Peer mentors were not utilized to their full potential
    Year two: Peer mentors are active facilitators in the classroom
 Requirements to be a Peer Mentor in
 Freshman Seminar
 Be a full-time student at Maryville University
 Have at least a 2.50 cumulative G.P.A.
 Be in good academic, financial and disciplinary
 Ability and desire to work in a team environment
 Strong communication and interpersonal skills
 Desire to serve as a resource for a diverse group of
  new students and their families
 Have a passion for Maryville University
Peer Mentor Training for Freshman Seminar

 Co-presented by Dean of the School of
  Education & Director of Retention
 Role clarification
 Case studies
 Seasoned peer mentors
   Shared difficult and rewarding moments
 Peer mentor developed Power Point for
  others to facilitate in their class
 Empower them to bring ideas forward
Expectations of Peer Mentors in
Freshman Seminar
 Assist in syllabus development
 Presenter and facilitator of discussion
 Role model both in and out of class
 Identify upcoming programs for students to attend
 Attend all Freshman Seminar classes
 Facilitate various sessions in Freshman Seminar,
  including Academic Integrity
 Attend a spring and fall training
 Weekly meetings with faculty member
 Bi-weekly reflections of the class
 Bi-weekly meetings with all peer mentors
Benefits to Peer Mentors

Enhance facilitation and leadership skills
Make a difference for someone
Gain pride in self, in the program, in the
Earn 0-3 credit hours
Active involvement
Gain a valuable connection with a faculty
Active change agent for improving programs
Improve Student Satisfaction of
Transition Programs
Gain student input from beginning to end
Respond to concerns/complaints in a timely
 and consistent manner
Explain the ‘whys’ of a program to students
Allow students to be active participants
 during creation and implementation stages
Results We Have Seen
 Increased retention rate in freshman seminar
  courses with a peer mentor
 Greater respect for faculty and programs following
  their experience (e.g., advising, freshman sem.)
 Faculty/Student relationships developed
 Higher level of student involvement by new
  students – peer mentors personally invite them to
 Increased student satisfaction from both peer
  mentors and new students
 Greater sense of pride in programs and institution
Strategies: How to Begin

  Select a program that is already established,
   strong, stable (e.g., new student orientation)
  Select a program that would be enhanced by
   including additional student input and
  Select a program that provides benefit to the
   students in transition, the ‘peer mentor’, and the
Strategies: How to Begin
 Buy-In
      If the program includes faculty, provide them with the
       opportunity to opt in or out
      Attend a faculty meeting to explain the process and
      Encourage nominations from the faculty
      Attend a student life staff meeting to explain the process
       and program
      Seek out nominations from front-line staff members
      Illustrate the benefits to students to encourage
      Less is more: be very selective
Strategies: How to Begin
 Successful Implementation
  Faculty have option to participate in the program
  Coordinator must be an active participant in the creating,
   implementing, and enhancing (e.g., freshman seminar
  Select only the best of the best
  Research other schools who have Peer Mentor programs
      University of Notre Dame; Swarthmore College; University of
       California, Davis; University of Central Florida; University of
       Southern Maine; Franklin Pierce College (NACADA
       Monograph Series #13)
      Delta College; Elizabethtown College; Mt. Hood Community
       College; Long Island University; MA College of Pharmacy &
       Health Sciences (Internet Sites)
From Students Helping Students

“The peer educator role is a valuable
 experience for most college students. For
 some it will last a year or two, for others it
 will chart new career objectives and
 lifelong personal change.” (p. 1, Ender, S.
 & Newton, F., 2000)
Helpful Resources…
 Ender, S. & Newton, F. (2000). Students Helping
  Students. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.
 Koring, H., & Campbell, S. (Eds., 2005). Peer
  Advising: Intentional Connections to Support
  Student Learning. NACADA Monograph Series
 Hamid, S. (Ed.) (2001). Peer Leadership: A
  Primer on Program Essentials. NRC Monograph
  Series #32.
Feel free to contact me…
                   Dr. Jennifer L. McCluskey
             Director of Retention Initiatives
          Maryville University of Saint Louis
               Telephone: 314 - 529 - 9561

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