Grantfacilitates new peer-to-peer mentoring initiative
Providingacademic guidance and insight to first-year students at the College, a newpeer-to-peer mentoring program—a product of The Academic Center (TAC) and agrant from the MELMAC Education Foundation in Augusta, Maine—is set to take offin the fall.
The PeerMentor Program accepts applications from rising sophomores, juniors, andseniors for the position of peer mentor. If accepted, the peer mentors providestudents the opportunity to mentor and guide first-year students, primarily, todevelop counseling and leadership skills during the 2014–2015 and 2015–2016academic years. The program is being supported by MELMAC’s grant, in the sum of$23,500.
“We are acommunity of faculty, staff, and students who work together to make the Collegeexperience the best it can be for every student,” says TAC’s Shanna Webster,who serves as an academic support coordinator. “Our upperclassmen have theirown unique stories to share, and giving them a forum to work with our incomingfirst-year students allows them to not only develop their résumé but alsoenhance their leadership skills.”
The programwill recruit 12 peer mentors and one peer mentor coordinator, assigning one toeach section of the FYE Seminar, a required one-credit course taken by allfirst-year students. Each mentor will be responsible for 25 students. Oneadditional student will be recruited to serve as peer mentor coordinator, aposition that provides the link between peer mentors and the faculty and staff.
AssistantDean of the College and TAC Director Vincent Kloskowski says, “We have faithand confidence in our College community that through the personal andeducational experiences of our mentors, those in the Peer Mentoring Program canbe positively impacted with their own personal success.”
To helpensure that success, peer mentors and the peer mentor coordinator must not onlyapply for the position but they must also attend a weeklong leadership trainingsession, which has an outdoor component, says Morgan Rocheleau, director ofStudent Activities. The training session will focus on team building,leadership development, and learning about the campus and its resources inpreparation for guiding new students.
Selectionsfor the highly anticipated program were made in late spring, and it’s anopportunity that current students were clearly ready for, says Kloskowski. “Thedevelopment of this program created more of an excited buzz than we initiallyexpected.”
More information about the program can be foundat sjcme.edu/tac/peer-mentor.