Program Description: 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. Following a set of mandatory training sessions, Peer Mentors work with students within the classroom of an assigned College Success class (1-credit AAA115 or the 3-credit CPD150) through the duration of that course, and, as needed, provide out-of-class peer guidance and referral to appropriate campus resources. In addition, Peer Mentors facilitate student engagement in classroom activities under the guidance of the instructor.
Prerequisites for Peer Mentor position: Completion of a College Success class (AAA115 or CPD150) with a grade of “A” OR completion of Peer Mentor Training (CPD250) with a B or better OR equivalent experience, as approved AND permission of Counseling Division.
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 abilities
- 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 resumé
- an opportunity to make a positive and lasting contribution to the lives of other students
Job 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 trainers if a student situation arises that is outside the scope of a paraprofessional
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 (total is approximately 46-64 clock hours, depending on the specific mentee class assignment)
- Training: Peer Mentors must participate in all components of a training session, which will be conducted prior to the start of the semester. The time commitment for this training will be approximately 16 hours.
- Peer Mentoring—in-class activities: In order to maximize their availability to their mentees, each Peer Mentor will be expected to attend their assigned College Success class one class period per week. Depending on which class it is (the 1- or 3-credit course), the in-class time commitment will be approximately 14-20 hours.
- Peer Mentoring—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 will generally require 1-2 hours per week for the duration of the course (approximately 10-20 hours total).
- Roundtable Support: All Peer Mentors will attend biweekly one-hour group sessions facilitated by the trainers (instructors are also invited to attend). During these Roundtable meetings, Peer Mentors will exchange tips/strategies/resources and collaborate to resolve any issues that may arise (6-8 hours).
- Students interested in serving as Peer Mentors must be nominated (or may request nomination by a faculty member); see attached Nomination Form.
- Student must complete a Peer Mentor Application form, with an unofficial college transcript attached.