Worcester State University
Academic Success

 

Peer Mentor Program

Mission:  The peer mentor program is designed to assist first-year students in their transition from high school to college, to promote learning, achievement, academic and community engagement, and to support first-year student academic, intellectual, social, and personal growth.

Goals of the peer mentor program are to:

  • Assist first-year students in developing educational and career goals
  • Encourage community and academic involvement
  • Promote academic excellence
  • Facilitate the development of student relationships with other students, faculty, and staff
  • Facilitate the development and enhancement of goal setting, time management skills, note taking and other study skills
  • Provide information about campus services 
  • Assist first-year students in navigating and using WSC technology including Blackboard and Web Advisor
  • Familiarizing first-year students with the College’s Academic Honesty Policy and the College’s Judicial Process

The peer mentor program is an integral part of the first-year experience.  Peer mentors serve as role models to first-year students and provide guidance and support.  They complement the instructors by providing ‘first-hand’ knowledge of campus life and academic and personal development.  Peer mentors are committed to the success of first-year students. 

Peer mentors must attend mandatory training workshops in the spring and in the summer.  These peer mentor training sessions are designed to develop and enhance communication skills, develop and enhance group leadership skills including managing group activities, engaging students in classroom discussions, dealing with diversity and conflict resolution.  Other training topics include, but are not limited to, the role and responsibilities of a peer mentor to first-year students, issues and challenges facing first-year students, review of campus programs, activities, resources, and services in order to make appropriate student referrals, and ethical principles pertinent to the role of the peer mentor.  In addition, peer mentors must enroll in ED410 – Peer Mentoring:  Principles and Practice. 

Benefits to the Peer Mentor:

  • Earn four credits in the Liberal Arts and Sciences content area Individual and Community Well-being or in the Social
  • Sciences distribution under general education 
  • Development of leadership abilities
  • Experience in leadership, group dynamics, and facilitating classroom discussion
  • Satisfaction and self-pride in knowing you are making a difference in the lives of first-year students by performing an important university service 
  • Involvement in planning a successful learning environment for first-year students
  • Excellent addition to your resume
  • References for future academic or job applications


Time Commitment:

  • Attend peer mentor training sessions held during the spring and summer prior to the start of the fall semester. 
  • Training sessions will total approximately 16 hours.
  • LC 300 Peer Mentoring:  Principles and Practice:  
    • Support Session:  Attend a one hour per week meeting with the LA 300 instructor.  During these sessions, peer mentors will exchange strategies, discuss concerns, and collaborate to resolve issues.
    • Peer Mentoring - in-class activities: Co-facilitate the fourth-hour module presentation and discussion - 1 hour per week
    • Peer Mentoring - out-of-class activities:  meet with co-facilitator (another FYS peer mentor) to prepare for fourth-hour module presentation; 
    • Out-of-Class Activities:  Meet with the Learning Community instructors and convey student concerns;  follow-up on individual mentee concerns; periodically visit the FYS course you are assigned to; read, grade, and record grades for fourth-hour module; email reminders to your FYS mentees regarding due dates, student activities, and other information  
  • LC 300:    Peer Mentoring:  Principles and Practice
    Pre-requisite:  Permission of Instructor
  • LC 300 is a three-credit course in which all first-year seminar peer mentors must register for during the fall semester.   

Course requirements include:

a. Participation in the mandatory peer mentor training workshops offered during the spring and summer
b. Attend weekly support sessions with the LA 300 instructor throughout the fall semester
c. Facilitate the first-year seminar, fourth-hour modules
d. Coordinate fourth-hour module work with the first-year seminar and English Composition course work and assignments
e. Maintain attendance records for the fourth-hour module
f. Collect and grade fourth-hour module assignments 
g. Serve as role models to first-year students
h. Provide guidance and support to first-year students
i. Meet regularly with the learning community instructors you have been assigned to work with
j. Periodically attend a first-year seminar or English Composition class
k. Serve as a liaison between the learning community instructors and the first-year students

Textbook:  Selected Readings

 
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