Peer Mentor Program

Instructor Guidelines

What a Peer Mentor DOES:

  • serves as a role model, guide, coach, encourager, and information resource about the college system (terminology, processes, etc.)
  • facilitates connection/communication among students, as well as in-class activities, and problem-solving / decision- making by students
  • guides students in deepening their understanding of course concepts, assignments, policies, and activities demonstrates “real-life” application of course concepts via sharing of their own experiences in a positive way
  • refers students as appropriate to on-campus resources, including counseling, tutoring, advising, and financial aid; and co-curricular programs, clubs, and events
  • serves as a liaison between instructor and students

What a Peer Mentor is NOT:

  • a teaching assistant, teacher’s aide, or grader
  • an enrolled student in the class (a peer to the students)

The Peer Mentor MAY:

  • create regular “office hours” during the week when he or she will be available for drop-in or appointment
  • facilitate in-class small-group activities
  • text or email students and respond to their emails regarding individual concerns or upcoming events
  • during class, offer insight and examples related to the lesson, based on the Peer Mentor’s own college experiences
  • be a “guest lecturer”: prepare a College Success topic to present/teach on a designated day (only one such lesson is recommended for the Peer Mentor to teach during the semester)
  • assist students in using Canvas for the class (and creating support discussion groups within Canvas, or via another networking site such as Facebook—best for Peer Mentors to create a new, non-personal FB account)
  • meet briefly with students after class to notify them if they are missing assignments
  • assist students in doing class assignments, so long as they serve only as a guide
  • play selected music and YouTube videos to complement class objectives
  • make announcements in class about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, etc.
  • independently conduct a One-Minute Assessment at the end of each class period, and follow up at the beginning of the next class period with compiled results
  • contact students via email, text, phone, Canvas, or other media to address class-progress issues
  • with explicit permission of the students, read Journal entries and respond in writing, to learn more about the students, offer suggestions (within the boundaries of a paraprofessional role), and give encouragement
  • facilitate an interactive Mid-Term Evaluation session with the students and work with the instructor to use the feedback to shape the remainder of the lessons
  • with guidance from the instructor, design materials to reinforce student learning in or out of the classroom
  • take students on tours of the campus to show them how to utilize college resources
  • initiate other activities (not mentioned here) that contribute actively to the college adjustment, learning, and success of the students, within ethical boundaries and the limits of a paraprofessional role

Peer Mentors and Instructors SHOULD:

  • before the semester starts (and before the syllabus is finalized), meet in person at least once to discuss the Peer Mentor’s involvement
  • meet regularly each week (approximately 20 minutes) to discuss the lesson plan for the following class session, identify what the Peer Mentor’s role/responsibility will be for that day, and follow up on any immediate student issues
  • model effective and positive team-work for the students
  • (highly recommended) create a student assignment, for a large number of points, that requires mentees to meet one-on-one with their Peer Mentor, followed by a short reflection paper. Focus of the meeting can be a simple questionnaire related to learning styles, test preparation, time management, note taking & review, materials organization, in-class participation, use of campus resources, or personal/academic/career goals.