Broadening Access to the Sciences > Case Studies > Peer Mentoring

Peer Mentoring

Contact Person: Minna Mahlab mahlab@grinnell.edu

Program Mission

Peer mentoring is an academic support program that utilizes peer assisted study sessions. Mentor sessions are informal seminars in which students compare notes, discuss readings, develop organizational tools and predict test items. The mentor sessions are directed by students who have previously and successfully taken the course and then sit through the course again.

What is the impetus for the program? What are the goals of the program?

To provide another resource for students taking science courses that is more structured than peer tutoring, but less intimidating than talking to the professor; to provide a context in which students can learn and practice effective group study skills.

How is the program structured?

A peer mentor - a student who as already taken the course - attends all class meetings of the course. He/she meets with the instructor of the course weekly to plan the mentor sessions. The mentor sessions occur once or twice each week and usually involve group study, problem solving, etc.

Who was involved in starting and/or who is involved in running the program? What were/are their roles?

Chuck Sullivan (Biology) began the program nearly twenty years ago. Minna Mahlab (Science Learning Center) is the current administrator.

Key steps/missteps

How is the program evaluated

Mentor session attendees and leaders are surveyed on their use and opinion of the program.

References and notes


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