Experience Growth: Mentoring at KSU
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What is Peer Mentoring?
Peer mentoring describes a relationship where a more experienced student helps a less experienced student improve overall academic performance and provides advice, support and knowledge to the mentee (Collier, 2011)
Purpose of Mentoring
Peer mentoring is used in university settings to supplement on academic advising. Although peer mentors are not professional academic advisors, graduation coaches or counselors and cannot provide information in the same ways as a formal university official, there are great benefits to having peer mentoring incorporated into an university's advising model. Peer mentoring is a considered a high impact practice and has been noted to have a positive correlation with retention of students.
Specifically, peer mentors:
- Mentors introduce mentees to KSU services and student organizations.
- Mentors help students understand and prepare for the academic and social demands of college life as well as encourage a sense of community.
- Benefits of peer mentoring for mentees include "increasing mentee's intention to stay in school and graduate" and promoting "mentee's academic success at college" (Collier, 2011).
- Peer mentoring includes psychosocial support functions like transitioning students to university life and providing "mentees with safe allies for sharing personal and college concerns" (Collier, 2011).
How We Connect Theory
Schlossberg’s Transition Theory, The 4’s
Both mentees and peer mentors are students going through transition.
Coping with Transition: “The individual’s effectiveness in coping with transition depends on his or her resources in these four areas-in other words, …[the students] assets and liabilities at the time. The ration of assets to liabilities helps explain ‘why different individuals react differently to the same type of transition and why the same person reacts differently at different time’” (Goodman et al 2006).
Transitions: Events or nonevents resulting in changed relationships, routines, assumptions and/or roles
The Transition Process:
Reactions over time
Moving in, moving through, and moving on
Theory of Reasoned Action
The program design for the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program can be associated with the Theory of Reasoned Action under the field of organizational management. This theory is used to understand the psychological processes influencing turn over in higher education as it relates to university attrition and can be compared to job turnover.
When people need to make complex decisions they utilize information that is available at the time in a rational manner to arrive at behavioral intentions decisions.
- First an individual’s attitude toward engaging, or not engaging, in the behavior affects his or her behavioral intentions.
- Second, social influence affects behavioral intentions.
- Third, one’s commitment to the organization or profession affects behavioral intentions.
How it's done: Putting Theory to Practice
Programs and Services:
Under the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program, we put theory into practice through the following programs and services:
- One-on-one mentorship matching: Mentor and mentees are matched based on degree interests, hobbies, and overall availability.
- Small group mentoring opportunities: Meetings and mentoring checkpoints throughout the semester for mentors and mentees to engage in discussion.
- Mentor training and development oppprtunities: Ongoing training opportunities for peer mentors to better the experience
- Professional and personal development workshops and seminars: Learn information about financial literacy, career planning, scholarships, goal setting, leadership and success to put you ahead of the game.
- Study halls, academic enrichment, and group networking: Network with peers during our study hall hours and learn tips for academic success through interactive sessions
- Event programming and socials: Discover people, skills and abilities through our fun and inventive socials. Whether you are performing for an open mic night, playing trivia, or participating in an Escape Room, we got something for you!
- Advanced Leader League: Odyssey LEAD Mentors serve as our Odyssey Team Leads and take mentorship and leadership development to the next level.
- Student Mentoring Association: Our affiliated registered student organization is an active and fun way to put the student leadership voice in mentorship on campus.
- Mentoring focused community engagement projects: Connecting with K-12 youth and community groups, our students present to classrooms, bringing a piece of KSU out to the community.