Peer mentors are in integral component of the First Year Seminar (FYS) experience. Peer mentors are upper class students who co-facilitate FYS classes with faculty, and serve as role models for students adjusting to academic and social demands of college life. In addition, to working within the classroom setting, peer mentors meet formally and informally with students outside of class to discuss class assignments and other relevant issues. Peer mentors attempt to establish relationships with their mentees very early on in the first semester and will continue to serve as a student mentor throughout their mentees' first year.
Peer mentors are nominated by faculty and staff based on their academic achievements, level of maturity, trustworthiness, responsibility, and interpersonal skills. Peer mentors complete a leadership training program prior to serving in a FYS class.
Students who have taken FYS report that peer mentors provide a unique benefit to the FYS course. They find peer mentors to be especially helpful in the transition to college, reporting that peer mentors are able to bring the student perspective, first-hand knowledge about the challenges new students face when arriving at college. Peer mentors role is to:
- Link students to college services
- Introduce students to college activities, clubs and organizations
- Teach and model successful student practices such as balancing academic and social demands, engaging with faculty and resources such as academic advising and the Academic Achievement Center.