Mentors "are students who have been selected and trained to offer educational services to their peers. These services are intentionally designed to assist in the adjustment, satisfaction, and persistence of students toward attainment of their educational goals" (Ender and Newton, 2000, p. 3). Mentoring services include:
Explaining policies and procedures
Orienting new students
Offering specific help strategies for study skills
Facilitating community development
Although professional staff members typically provide these services in some format, peer mentors can be just as - or even more - effective at providing them. The effectiveness of mentors is due in part to the similarity in age between mentors and the students they are mentoring; peer interactions have a strong influence on young adults. Also, people learn best by having role models who demonstrate productive ways to act in a common situation. Students learn by observing the actions of mentors who have gone through similar challenges and experiences. Finally, mentors can bring energy, excitement and freshness to the delivery of these services because of the newness of the experience and the challenge of doing a good job.
For more information about mentors or being a mentor, contact Kevin Finn at email@example.com.