The spring semester at Paradise Valley Community College has more peer-to-peer mentors than ever before. More students are choosing to reach out and help others adjust to college life and guide them through the hurdles a first-term student faces. It’s a great, organic way to facilitate connections amongst the students and presents a less threatening and more accessible avenue for those looking for support.
Counseling Faculty Diane Chapman said, “Our mentors main role is to build relationships with their peers and assist in problem-solving by offering strategies and resources for first-year student success,” adding that mentors provide guidance, tips, and suggestions in navigating the college experience, in a more relatable fashion.
Chapman has been teaching at PVCC since 2005 and said this has been one of the best teaching experiences she’s ever had. “The amount of growth and dedication exhibited by this group of mentors is inspiring. Reading the mentors' reflections, along with the feedback from partner instructors has been amazing. The relationships that are being built are solid, genuine and truly beneficial to all.”
What is Peer Mentor Training?
The Counseling Division at PVCC offers a CPD250 class called Peer Mentor Training. Students are selected for this course through an application/interview process. They also need to have completed 24 credit hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA. This program is recommended particularly for students who:
- Have demonstrated success in college and wish to serve as a role model for new students
- May be interested in a career in human services (e.g., education, counseling, social work, health/medical services, management, training and development, etc.)
- Enjoy using their skills in communication and teamwork
- Seek to further develop their leadership potential
Each enrolled student is paired up with a "Partner Instructor" which can be any instructor on campus interested in having a Peer Mentor in their classroom to assist students, usually 100 level classes. The mentors attend at least one class a week of their "Partner Instructors" class as well a 2.5 hours of Peer Mentor training class where they learn different tools and skills to mentor the students in the class they are partnered with.
Hear From our Mentors
“I became a mentor because it lines up perfectly with my career path, Personal Development Counseling. I’ve found that this program helps other students develop effective communication, self-care and personal growth. I highly recommend peer mentoring because it helps mentors understand leadership style and helps mentees become more aware of how to take care of themselves and build soft skills.” - Jack B.
“I was nominated by Daniel Sanchez to join this program. This experience has personally helped me become a better public speaker, increased my confidence and become less of an introvert. I believe that peer mentoring creates an environment of self-belonging, connection, and friendship. There is a great deal of positivity surrounding this program through the bond between peer mentor, mentee and partner instructor.” - Jenna W.
This spark of leadership and empathy towards fellow students is exactly what the Peer Mentoring Training Program is looking for! If you know a student whom would be a great addition to our team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.