Examples – Peer Mentoring by University Students

There are fourteen program examples provided here. The UW- M alone has seven student peer mentoring programs. Some of what is provided are undergraduate and some are graduate level programs.


Descriptions – The Comprehensive Student Mentoring Programs At Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The following are the details about each of the mentoring programs that we were able to discover ay UWM. It presents a wonderful picture of what can be done when a

Click here to see a separate article and graphic showing ALL the mentoring programs for adults, and the community, not just the university students.

UW-M EXAMPLE #1 – The UWM First Year Center Campus Ambassadors and Mentoring Program

The First Year Center is the one stop where you can find all the information about valuable resources on campus. The mission of the First Year Center is to provide quality comprehensive services to new freshmen and transfer students enrolled at UWM.

The First Year Center is also home base to the Campus Ambassadors and Mentors who, during the academic year, will reconvene their orientation groups, meet one-on-one and maintain communication with their first-year students, and assist in the development of targeted first-year programming.

UW-M EXAMPLE #2 – Master of Library & Information Science Advising & Mentoring. (MLIS)

Students thinking of enrolling in the MLIS program are welcome to meet and discuss their questions and concerns with one of the School’s Graduate Academic Advisors.

Once accepted by the School of Information Studies, students are expected to work closely with their advisors and their assigned faculty mentor to tailor a program that best suits their interests and career goals.

At the time of admission to the master’s degree program, a faculty mentor will be assigned to each student. The letter of admission to the master’s degree program includes the name and contact information of the faculty mentor and an invitation to consult with him or her.

UW-M EXAMPLE #3 – Office of Student Life Student Support Service and Mentoring Programs:

Through its programs and services UW-Milwaukee’s Office of Student Life (OSL) provides a holistic approach to student development that includes social, intellectual, emotional, physical, and cultural growth. OSL models leadership, responsibility, service, and respect for diversity by providing a framework for purposeful and meaningful experiences that empower students to reach their full potential.

To this end, OSL provides activities related to:

* Student leadership development,

* Self awareness and personal growth,

* Cultural diversity, campus civility, and student safety,

* Experiential learning and community involvement,

* Social and cultural activities,

* Providing students with university information, and

* Student support and mentoring

UW-M EXAMPLE #4 – Tutoring and Mentoring Resources

The program message is, “You don’t have to be alone in your studies. UWM has ample tutoring and mentoring opportunities to help you navigate the rocky patches.” …The Peer Outreach & Mentoring Center was created by students for students, The peer mentoring Program can assist any student in areas of personal growth, social experience and college life. The program seeks mentors who are enthusiastic and dedicated students who will be a sounding board for other students’ questions and a “shoulder to lean on” during midterms and finals.

UW-M EXAMPLE #5 – International Student Peer Mentoring

The Center for International Education – Global Studies Association has a Peer Mentoring Program which pairs a U.S. student with an international student to help in the process of getting acquainted with UWM, American culture, and daily life in Milwaukee. This is a great learning opportunity and experience for any globally minded individual. Peer mentors often report that they really enjoy helping others and learn a great deal themselves from the interactions with their international protege.

UW-M EXAMPLE #6 – The STAR (Student s Taking Academic Responsibility) Mentoring Program

STAR Mentoring Program is a semester-long intensive mentoring program for first-time academic probation University students. The Program provides a mentor for each student as they work to get back to good academic standing. The STAR Program mentors assist students with becoming more focused by working together to address challenges, improve strengths, and connect to the various resources on campus that can help them reach their academic and career goals.

There is no financial cost to participate in STAR. However, participation requires a commitment on the part of the student to attend their weekly appointments (for 30 minutes) with their mentors and to work hard to improve their academics. A combination of students and professionals from across campus volunteer each semester to be mentors for the STAR Program.

Training and resources are provided.

Ideally, meetings with a mentor will begin within the fIrst few weeks of the semester. Excluding the first two weeks of school and falls week, a men or and STAR participant should be able to meet for at least ten sessions. Below is a brief outline of the different topics that a mentor and STAR participant may discuss during their weekly meetings.

Goal-setting is a primary focus, which serves to encompass a variety of skill-building activities, including time management, motivation, and prioritizing their activities.

STAR  Program  Weekly  Course  Outline

  • Session #1
    • 1. Introductions/Getting to know each other
    • 2. Appreciative Living Self-Assessment questionnaire
    • 3. Important drop/ add dates
    • 4. Academic Goals: long term, upcoming semester
  • Session #2
    • 1. Go through each course syllabi and record important dates
    • 2. Organization discussion
    • 3. Goals to complete for next week
      *For your next meeting, bring in a copy of your transcript
  • Session #3
    • 1. Learning styles
    • 2. Study strategies, including how to calculate your grade point average
    • 3. Goals to complete for next week
  • Session #4
    • 1. Procrastination issues
    • 2. Time management strategies
    • 3. Goals to complete for next week
  • Session #5
    • 1. Discussion of classes and assignments
    • 2. Major/Career discussion: on the right path?
    • 3. Goals to complete for next week
      **meet with an advisor to plan for spring classes
  • Session #6
    • 1. Review of semester goals
    • 2. Plans for the second half of the semester
    • 3. Goals to complete for next week
  • Session #7
    • 1. Stress management strategies
    • 2. Goals to complete for next week
  • Session #8
    • 1. Review of topics covered in past meetings
    • 2. Goals to complete for next week
  • Session #9
    • 1. Discuss plans for studying for finals
    • 2. End of semester concerns, if any
    • 3. Fill out electronic evaluations – Survey Central website
  • Session #10
    • 1. Closing discussion – met or not met goals for the semester: why or why not?
    • 2. If needed, fill out evaluations from last week

UW-M EXAMPLE #7 – Economics Students-Alumni Mentoring Program

The Economics Mentoring Program connects current UWM Economics students to UWM Economics alumni who:

  • Provide career-related advice and resources
  • Engage and encourage students to become active alumni and possible mentors when they graduate

Mentees and mentors will negotiate the number of contacts they plan to have during the program year and their preferred mode of contact. Economics alumni who do not live in the Milwaukee area are welcome to participate as mentors.This program is a collaboration between the UWM Alumni Association and UWM Department of Economics.

The DePauw University First-Year Experience Program

The FYE Program provides first- year students (freshman and transfer) a challenging yet supportive experience that inspires self-discovery and an active engagement with the learning and growth opportunities available to them as they transition and integrate into the DePauw community.

Mentors help facilitate these goals by working closely with an assigned group of first-year students. Mentors are expected to understand the philosophy and the goals of the program and to consistently work to make these a reality for their first-year students.

The mentor begins with meetings and training sessions in the spring and an intensive week of training prior to opening in the fall. Mentors are expected to:

  • actively participate in orientation week activities
  • maintain regular contact with their mentees throughout the entire academic year.
  • meet with their seminar and staff groups on a regular basis
  • provide support to individual students in their seminar group
  • hold regular 1-on-1 meetings with their supervisor
  • attend all required training and development sessions.

Mentors are matched with the First-Year Seminar Faculty Instructor for whose class their group of first-year students is registered.

To qualify as a mentor, persons must:

  • be mature, engaging individuals who have demonstrated their own academic and personal success as a student at DePauw;
  • be committed to the mission and goals of the program;.
  • be actively engaged in the intellectual and community life of the campus;
  • be energetic, insightful, reflective, responsible, and creative;
  • have well developed interpersonal skills and a solid work ethic;
  • be of sophomore or higher standing during their year of service;
  • be in good academic standing with the university;
  • demonstrate their potential to serve as an effective role model in terms of both academic and community standards.
  • Most mentors have a GPA above 3.0, but this is not required of all applicants.


After being hired, mentors are expected to attend several meetings in the spring semester in preparation for the following year. Mentors must return to campus early in the fall and participate in a week of intensive training prior to orientation. Training will include topics such as community, intellectual life, diversity, group development, University resources, and mentoring and skill-based elements including group facilitation and helping skills. Mentors will also attend monthly workshops during the year.

Compensation – Total annual compensation for mentors is $500. In recognition of the larger time
commitment in the first semester, $300 is paid in the first semester and $200 in the second.

The University of Southern California I AM Mentoring Program

This “Increasing Access via Mentoring” (I AM) Program is sponsored by the USC Center for Student Opportunity in Los Angeles, California, USA

The I AM Program is an intensive mentoring model where faculty, staff and students from USC and local professionals guide college-ready high school seniors through the college and financial aid application processes.

Through one-on-one mentoring, the program aims to provide students with critical information and support that will lead to successful applications for college admission and financial aid.  I AM mentors help students make informed decisions about where to apply to and attend college and provide assistance with interpreting students’ financial aid awards. Each I AM mentor works with 1-3 students for a total of 3-4 hours each month. The program is active from September through June.

The goal of the program is to increase the college-going population at the target high schools in Los Angeles.

The Cleveland State University AHANA Peer Mentoring Program

The AHANA Peer Mentoring Program ( an acronym for African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American) is a university retention project to assist students who are at the critical point of entry to the university.

The program provides support to students in the first semester and thereafter to help them adjust to the demands of college-level course work. Specifically, the AHANA Program helps mentees with:

  1. adjustment to university life
  2. understanding and accessing university support services
  3. providing support networks of committed staff, faculty, administrators and peer mentors to guide the students successfully toward graduation

Actually, there are five peer mentoring programs focused on under-represented incoming freshmen groups in higher education:

  1. Black Male Initiative (Kikundi)- established by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in 1991 to address the low rate of retention and graduation of African-American males at the university
  2. Black Women Initiative (Nia)
  3. Hispanic Retention Initiative (Juntos Podemos) which reaches out to all incoming Hispanic students to introduce them to strategies for success. A graduate assistant maintains close contact with students to ensure use of peer mentoring, social and academic support services, and the career exploration process. This initiative facilitates interaction among Hispanic students with others of similar cultures to form networks of support.
  4. Native American Retention Initiative (561)
  5. Asian Initiative (AzN).

The programs operate similarly and are sponsored and managed overall by the AHANA Peer Mentoring Program. These programs work to increase the retention, achievements, graduation, and leadership skills. Participants attend workshops, lectures, off-campus retreats, intramural sports, and local and national conferences.

George Fox University “Natural Mentoring” Opportunities

The Graduate School of Clinical Psychology at George Fox University, in the Portland Oregon area, has built a collaborative culture to create numerous opportunities for informal “natural” mentoring relationships to develop and flourish. Here are two examples:

1. One “natural” mentoring opportunity develops in the graduate student research teams.

Students in the first four years of the five-year program meet for two hours every other week in research teams which are facilitated by with their faculty adviser.

  • Second-year students discuss possible study proposals.
  • Third-year students talk about collecting data
  • Fourth-year students share their experiences writing and preparing to defend dissertations.

Participants report that the encouragement and guidance they get from each other and the collaboration that develops, is significantly more than what the faculty advisor alone can offer.

2. A second opportunity for peer mentoring in a formal context comes during weekly meetings of clinical supervision teams. Each team includes students from the first to the fourth year undergoing training at counseling centers and community mental health programs. Students who are just beginning in the program and are not really sure about what they’re doing have a chance to see students in their third and fourth year, who are developing pretty solid clinical skills.

The approach is detailed further in “Student-to-student mentoring – Experienced students help junior colleagues succeed in grad school.”. Christopher Munsey. Published in gradPSYCH Staff, March 2008, Vol 6, No. 2

The State University of New York at Buffalo Counseling Peer Mentoring Program

Dr. Janice Delucia-Waack is Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology in the Graduate School of Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo in Amherst, NY. Because of research she did at a previous institution she has initiated a dual peer mentoring program for graduate students in her department at Buffalo.

Her earlier research found that mentees preferred peer rather than faculty mentoring and guidance, and that natural mentoring could be as effective for some students and some program needs and goals as was a more formal approach, if certain factors were present. However, her research also showed that informal
mentoring was less effective in mentoring pairs met less than three times during the academic year.

This program uses a mix of formal and informal approaches to peer mentoring, with the goal of helping newer students adjust to the social and academic demands of graduate school. The peer mentoring program has qualities reflecting both formal and informal approaches to provide the greatest benefits to students from both methods of mentoring.

1. .New students to graduate school first get involved with and benefit from peer mentors through a more informal approach where matches and meetings are encouraged. This method is sufficient because the students’ needs are focused more on adjusting to graduate school expectations, socialization into the program and faculty relationships, etc.

2. Second year graduate students’ needs are more intensive reflecting the more intensive nature of their program at that stage. The peer mentoring approach changes some and formally matches first-year students with second-year students in late May and early June before the academic year starts. The students are encouraged to e-mail each other before school starts to become acquainted and to allow the time for development of relationships and trust before the mentoring needs to be most effective. When the second academic year starts, pair meetings kick off at a luncheon the first week of classes and continue thereafter.

The peer mentoring students talk about topics such as:

  • how the shift to the graduate school culture is going
  • balancing the competing demands of family, work and school
  • the best electives to take in their class work for their career goals
  • the challenges of conducting research
  • advice for writing a dissertation.

Bowman, R. L.*, Bowman, V. E.*, & DeLucia, J. L.* (1990). Mentoring in a graduate counseling program: Students helping students. Counselor Education and Supervision, 30, 58-65.