In college, there is often a collaborative learning atmosphere. Students learn not only from their professors, but also from each other. Teaching assistants, for example, are more experienced students who help current students though their coursework. Another way in which college students can learn from each other is through peer mentoring.
Peer mentoring programs pair older students with younger students. The overarching goal is for the older students to help the younger students navigate college and their coursework. So, what are the key benefits of peer mentoring for college students? Take a look.
Social and Academic Connections
Working with a peer mentor can help a new student form more social and academic connections on campus. The mentor may be able to suggest clubs for the mentee to join or guide them in forming study groups. Simply having a mentor they can turn to with questions about college life and academics can help a new student feel connected and supported on campus. The transition into the more independent atmosphere of college can be tough for some students, and a peer mentor can ease that transition.
NSCS Mentoring Program
Included in an NSCS membership is the opportunity to participate in the NSCS Mentoring Program. The Scholar Central member community will help match you to the best fit mentor, provide a framework for how to interact with your mentor, and milestones along the way to ensure you are achieving your goals. If you would like to join NSCS, please visit info.nscs.org/mentorship-lp.org.
Improved Communication Skills
Both the mentor and the mentee get a chance to improve their communication skills as the relationship develops. The mentee gets to practice asking questions in a clear and effective way, and the mentor gets to practice answering questions effectively. These skills can really benefit students when they graduate and enter the workforce. Students who have participated in a peer mentor program are better able to communicate with empathy, understanding, and clarity.
Students who set goals often achieve more during their college years, and beyond. A peer mentor relationship gives students someone to bounce their goals off of. The mentor can not only help students develop their goals, but also make plans to achieve them. In some cases, the mentor can even act as a friendly accountability partner, helping to keep the younger student on-track as they aim to achieve. For example, a mentor might agree to text their mentee every evening and ask what they did that day to move closer to achieving certain goals.
Understanding and Reassurance
College often puts students into situations that they’ve never been in before, both socially and academically. This can leave students feeling alone and worried. Being able to confide in someone who has been in the same situation can be really beneficial. A peer mentor can be the perfect person for a new student to confide in when they’re facing new challenges and situations. Simply hearing a mentor say, “I understand” can help the student feel validated and reassured.
Mentors can add their peer mentoring experience to their resumes. Many mentees eventually become mentors themselves, which means they, too, are able to add the experience to their records. Participating in such a program shows future employers that you’re interested in working collaboratively and helping others. Since so many workplaces rely on employees to work together in teams, these are essential skills to have. Mentorship programs can also help you build your network so you have some references to add to your applications when you start applying for jobs.
Peer mentor programs can be incredibly transformative for college students. Through these programs, new students can begin forming connections on campus while getting the social and academic support they need. Mentors also benefit, as the experience helps build their resume, network, and communication skills. The friendships and skills formed in these programs can truly last a lifetime.