Jump Start Peer Mentoring

Goals of Peer Mentoring: Develop student leaders through peer mentoring programs. (Goal #5)

  1. Recruit sufficient numbers of students, peer mentors, to provide two to three mentees (Jump Start students) for each peer mentor.
  2. Potential peer mentors will successfully complete a minimum of ten hours of training for the peer mentor position. The training may be delivered via a one-credit, Penn State course: CN ED 200.
  3. In order to ensure that the peer mentors are continually developing their leadership skills, the Learning Specialist or Student Advocacy Manager will meet with the peer mentors on a monthly basis during the academic year to offer additional training and/or feedback pertaining to the peer mentoring process.

Through participation in the Peer Mentoring program, a student can potentially experience and will be able to:

  • Support students with their academic and social transition to college
  • Connect students to appropriate resources on campus
  • Encourage students to utilize successful study techniques
  • Promote community building by encouraging mentees to become involved on campus
  • Foster an environment that celebrates diversity
  • Act as a liaison with open communication between faculty, staff, and students
  • Develop leadership skills, relationship values, and self-awareness

Recruiting and Hiring Peer Mentors

There are currently two types of Peer Mentor positions on campus: First-Year Experience (FYE) and Jump Start.

The Jump Start program supports incoming students as early as the summer before their first semester of school begins, throughout their entire first year, while the FYE mentors support students while they are taking the PSU 008s seminar course.

During the beginning of the spring semester of each academic year, the ASC staff begins recruitment for Peer Mentors. Through on-campus and e-mail efforts, students are recruited to schedule the Peer Mentoring class, CN ED 200. While the class offers information pertinent to students interested in mentoring, it does not ensure a student will be given a Peer Mentor position.

Students interested in mentoring must have a 2.7 cumulative grade-point average by the end of the spring semester in which they are making application. The prospective mentors must have completed the Peer Mentoring class with a grade of ā€œCā€ or better. Summer, fall, and spring availability is a requirement for Jump Start Peer Mentors. FYE Peer Mentors only need to be available during the fall semester.

The following is a tentative outline of the application process:

  • Online and paper application (including resume and recommendations) is due. Students can apply for both Peer Mentor positions or choose just one.
  • Applicants will sign up for a one-on-one interview.
  • Applicants will sign up for and attend group interview times.
  • Offers will go out to accepted applicants.
  • Accepted applicants must return their signed contracts and other paperwork.
  • All Peer Mentors will attend a required end-of-semester meeting during final exam week.

Peer Mentor Job Description

The Peer Mentor Program provides returning students with the opportunity to mentor and assist incoming students with their adjustment to college and to Penn State Mont Alto. Peer Mentors are assigned mentees who are incoming first-year students. Depending on the position, Peer Mentors may begin contacting their mentees electronically (phone, e-mail, Facebook, instant messaging, texts, etc.) during the summer months to develop a helping relationship, which may consist of answering questions mentees may have about the Penn State Mont Alto campus, college life, or the online modules.

During the academic year, Peer Mentors meet regularly with their mentees and support them during their first year of college. Peer Mentors must demonstrate effective study skills, time management practices, and have the ability to refer their students to appropriate campus or community resources as needed.

Peer Mentors will report to the Student Advocacy Manager or Academic Support Center Director and communicate regularly about student progress. Peer Mentors are considered representatives of both the Academic Support Center and The University and should act accordingly both on and off campus. 

Peer Mentors have a strong influence on the development and education of Penn State Mont Alto students. They provide invaluable support to students as they adjust to the rigors of college life.

These student leaders are expected to integrate their role as mentors with their roles as educators, peer helpers, community builders, and student advocates. In addition, Peer Mentors are expected to demonstrate genuine interest in the welfare of students and constructively support both students and the institution by active involvement in the entire Peer Mentor program.