Peer Mentoring Case Study

Assignment 1: Does peer mentoring improve college freshmen retention rate?
Samantha Dean

A common question posed by administrators at institutions of higher education is how to retain college freshmen. The reasons that first-year students do not return to college as a sophomore range from family issues to lack of friends and loneliness to struggling academically and lack of money. Universities cannot control all factors relating to a student’s decision to not come back as a sophomore; however, they can experiment with ways to assist students who feel lonely or struggle with academics. One program that several universities put in place is peer mentoring in hopes that assigning a freshman to an upperclassman will allow them the opportunity to
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Freshmen retention rates as well as college graduation rates show that may not be the case. A goal of peer mentoring is to motivate students to complete tasks in a timely manner and on their own (Satyanarayana, Li, & Braneky, 2014).College freshmen can be easily overwhelmed when they no longer live with their parents and do not have someone else dictating their schedules. Peer mentors do not necessarily dictate a mentee’s schedule, but rather give them advice on how to handle that feeling of anxiety and how to develop a sense of responsibility for completing their tasks. Studies indicate that support systems need to be put in place during a student’s first semester; that first semester can lay the groundwork for completion (Budny & Paul, 2014).

The question that I hope to answer with this research is: Does peer mentoring improve college freshmen retention rates at universities? A primary goal of peer mentoring is to ensure that college freshmen become more confident in their abilities; both academically and socially. If first-year students are better equipped to handle their first semester away from home, it makes for a better experience. Universities stand to benefit as well; retaining first-year students can lead to higher graduation rates which can in turn lead to better college
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Data were gathered four times aross students' first year and archivally at entry and again 4 years later. Results showed that students being peer-mentored was related to satisfaction with their university during the semester of the mentoring intervention as well as the end of the following semester, but more mixed results were found in terms of commitment and actual graduation behavior when compared to the nonmentored control group of freshman who received only the general orientation course. Thus, the mentoring intervention seems to work will for influencing satisfaction but not for actual academic performance indicators such as overall college GPA or

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