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The University Studies Peer Mentor Program at ֱState University plays an integral role in the Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ) and Sophomore Inquiry (SINQ) courses by recruiting highly-skilled undergraduate and graduate students to mentor first and second-year students.

The Peer Mentor Program was developed under the same award-winning, interdisciplinary general education guidelines as PSU's University Studies Program.

Over 100 undergraduate and graduate Peer Mentors work directly with the FRINQ and SINQ faculty to support students by role-modeling and developing the skills needed to succeed at the university. Given the nature of their work and their frequent professional development trainings, Peer Mentors also benefit by developing strong leadership, listening, and communication skills, making them highly sought after candidates in the workplace and in graduate programs.

About the UNST Mentor Program

University Studies employs a unique strategy for addressing student success at ֱState University. During the year-long freshman-level course (Freshman Inquiry) and term-long sophomore-level courses (Sophomore Inquiry), upper-division undergraduate and graduate peer mentors are partnered with faculty to deliver these courses. The mentor program is a community of exceptional students trained to provide leadership and academic support to their peers in mentor sessions. Mentor Sessions are designed to help mentees gain experience doing high-quality academic work in small groups.

What is a mentor?

Mentors are capable, creative, high-achieving, and experienced students who help other students make the most out of their academic careers. Undergraduate Peer Mentors are juniors or seniors who work with first-year mentees in year-long Freshman Inquiry courses. Graduate Peer Mentors come from all academic disciplines and work with Sophomore Inquiry courses.

Two students interacting with each other
2 Students

What Does a Mentor Do? 

Mentors plan and facilitate 50-minute mentor sessions for Freshman Inquiry and Sophomore Inquiry courses. Successful mentors are flexible, perform multiple roles, and approach topics through a variety of lenses. Mentors serve as allies and tutors, helping mentees to understand the academic culture. They bridge faculty and students and help build positive learning communities. They partner closely with their faculty counterparts in creatively implementing course objectives.   

What else is expected from mentors?

Be well trained. All mentors, new and returning, are required to participate in fall training prior to the start of the academic year. 

Actively participate in a learning community. Additional training opportunities vary term-by-term. Mentors are encouraged to independently seek out a variety of professional development activities while mentoring. Mentors are also encouraged to create resources to share with other mentors.

Be minimally competent in the use of technology. All new mentors will be expected to have knowledge of basic academic technology programs. The University Studies program provides resources, support, and consultation opportunities for peer mentors to learn about using these technologies in the classroom with their students.

Undergraduate Peer Mentors must take a minimum of 6 credit hours per term. Graduate Peer Mentors must take 9 credit hours per term.