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Peer Mentor Program


Course Description:
Development and application of beginning skills and knowledge required to establish and maintain effective peer helping relationships in a college setting. Focus on the role, function, and responsibilities of the peer mentor; verbal and nonverbal communication skills; problem solving; and strategies and resources for first-year student success. Includes on-campus service-learning component.

Service-Learning Component:

A Peer Mentor is a trained paraprofessional (peer leader) who provides guidance, support, and role modeling to first-year college students in a structured setting. For the experiential-learning part of the CPD250 course, Peer Mentors work with students within the classroom of an assigned first-year college class (College Success or a developmental English, Math, or Reading class). Peer Mentors also provide out-of-class peer guidance and referral to appropriate campus resources. In addition, they facilitate student engagement in classroom activities under the guidance of the instructor.


  • completion of 24 credit hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • completion of an interview and approval by the instructor

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

Benefits to the Peer Mentor:

  • identification and guided development of leadership strengths
  • peer support with other successful students who share their educational and career goals
  • networking with college and community leaders
  • career-related leadership experience on the résumé
  • an opportunity to make a positive and lasting contribution to the lives of other students

CPD250 Peer Mentor Training topics include (but are not limited to):

  • role, function, and responsibilities of a peer mentor in a college setting
  • verbal and nonverbal skills necessary to establish an effective helping relationship
  • the relationship between personality and leadership style/strengths
  • basic skills in effective group facilitation
  • basic legal and ethical principles to the role of peer mentor
  • issues or challenges facing first-year college students
  • review of effective use of college-success strategies
  • basic guidelines for paraprofessionals to refer students to appropriate campus resources
  • review of specific PVCC campus resources, programs, and services

Time Commitment: Peer Mentors must participate in both the classroom and service-learning components.

  • CPD250 Class Meeting Time: A total of 48 hours of in-class time (pre-semester 8-hour Orientation + an afternoon
    class that meets one day per week). Class time includes weekly Roundtable peer-support sessions. Homework in
    CPD250 (3 credits) includes chapter reading responses, reflection papers, and a presentation at the end of the
  • Service Learning (peer mentoring within assigned mentee class): In order to maximize their availability to their
    mentees, each Peer Mentor will be expected to attend their assigned mentee class one class period per week.
    Depending on which class it is, the in-class time commitment will be approximately 20 hours for the semester.
  • Out-of-class activities: Consultation with the instructor, materials preparation (if applicable), follow-up on
    individual mentee concerns, and individual or small-group peer-mentoring sessions generally require 1-2 hours per
    week for the duration of the course (approx. 16-24 hours total).

Service-Learning Role Description: The role and responsibilities of the Peer Mentor will include the following:

  • To assist students in creating positive relationships within the class, including with the Peer Mentor and with the class instructor
  • To encourage and facilitate student engagement in class activities, including small-group discussions, group projects, learning games, reflective journal writing, and other tasks
  • To connect with each student in the class to explore their interests, goals, study habits, and college-adjustment needs
  • To provide appropriate referral to campus resources, activities, student organizations, and programs
  • To contribute actively to classroom learning by sharing appropriate personal experiences and discoveries about how to be successful in college, including demonstration of the use of self-management tools and study strategies
  • To facilitate students’ understanding of course concepts and their completion of class activities and assignments, as appropriate
  • To communicate once a week with the instructor to discuss the lesson plan for the next class meeting as well as any general or individual student issues that may need attention
  • To consult confidentially with the classroom instructor and/or the trainer if a student situation arises that is outside the scope of a paraprofessional

Application Process:

Complete the Peer Mentor Application form online - it was attached to the email that notified you of your nomination. Print the Recommendation Form, have a faculty member complete it and he/she return it to the Director of the Peer Mentor Program (Marianne Auten, KSC 1215). Upon receipt of your application and positive recommendation by a faculty member, you will be called for an interview.