Student Disability Services implemented a peer mentoring program in 2019 with the goal of providing additional support to incoming first-year students each fall. Peer mentors are trained the spring prior to the fall semester in which they will serve. We created a Canvas-based training for spring 2020 as a result of the need for remote training due to COVID restrictions. The overall purpose of the training was to ensure the mentors learned the requirements of the role and were equipped with information to assist their mentees and to provide inclusive support. The training incorporated some of the things we learned when we assessed our in-person training the previous year, such as more information about campus resources, perspectives from our returning mentors, and case studies.
Learning outcomes associated with the program:
- As a result of their participation in this online training, 100% of the mentors will be able to correctly identify the core requirements of the mentoring program.
- As a result of their participation in this online training, at least 80% of the mentors will identify strategies for assisting mentees with various transition needs.
Of the 20 mentors who participated in the training, 100% correctly identified the core requirements of the mentoring program, and 100% identified strategies for assisting mentees with various transition needs.
- Mentors identified the following in their case study analyses:
- How to support mentees through appropriate referrals to specific campus resources including Counseling Center, Academic Success Center, 974-HELP, Office of Equity and Diversity, and Multicultural Student Life
- When to refer a mentee to SDS staff, or when to ask for guidance from SDS staff themselves, when issues require more expertise
- Interpersonal communication skills that demonstrate listening, empathy, and using shared experiences to give sound advice