The Importance Of Peer Mentoring

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When I began college, my circumstances were different than most. I was twice the age of the average freshman, a single mom with four children at home, and domestic violence survivor. After completing most of 9th grade my ADHD reached a point I couldn’t handle the “chaos” of public school any longer, so I quit. Later I earned an adult diploma, but my confidence concerning anything related to school was non-existent.
UVU has a requirement that all beginning freshmen must talk to an academic advisor before registering for any classes. Grudgingly, I went and told her my story, hopes, and fears; definitely more than was needed. My advisor explained I needed to take a student success class with Tiffany Youst. She then looked up and wrote down the
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Using “Mentoring Programs: A Framework to Inform Program Development, Research, and Evaluation” (2006) I realized that the term “peer mentoring” has been used to describe a variety of different things, such as cross-age peer mentoring, peer tutoring, and peer education to name a few (Karcher et al., 2006, p. 712). Dictionary.com defines the word peer as: “a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status.” It also defines the word mentor as: “1) A wise and trusted counselor or teacher. 2) An influential senior sponsor or supporter” (n.d.). This definition is reflected in the Peer Mentor Companion where it states “A peer mentor is not just any student, but is rather a student who has learned from experience and has developed skills to successfully guide other students through college” (2008, p. …show more content…
UCAS students are minors, consequently limits are in place regarding adult interaction placing limitations on how and when mentors are allowed to communicate, interact, and which UVU activities they may be involved in. These inconsistencies have led me to argue that mentors placed at UCAS need different training and guidelines than mentors placed on campus. Through talking with previous UCAS mentors, a common theme emerged. Mentoring at UCAS was a struggle, not being able to have on-on-ones prevented getting to know the students on more than a superficial level. We couldn’t interact anywhere except the classroom which gave the students a limited view who or what mentors are. We couldn’t communicate or be alone with the students, being the parent understandable restrictions, being the mentor, extremely frustrating. During the weekly mentoring class, around mid-semester, another UCAS mentor started asking the very questions I had been. During the discussion that followed a third year mentor asked “If we have these problems at UCAS every semester why do we send mentors over there?” The reply “Because it’s a college class and that’s what we have always

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