A New Approach to Training and Development of Peer Mentors
at the 32nd Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience
Patricia Micks, Senior Program Coordinator for the First-Year Experience Office, and Lisa Valdez, First-year Interest Groups program coordinator, presented their methods of training FIG mentors at a national conference on the First-Year Experience this weekend. Their proposal was selected from 490 submissions.
FIG mentors assist first-year students with the transition from high school to college academically, socially, emotionally, and developmentally. The program provides first-year students with the tools and resources they need to be successful college students, and mentors play a vital role in the success of the enrolled students. By getting students acclimated early to what it means (and takes) to be a successful college student, they are more able to find their way to being successful college graduates. Students who serve as mentors are exceptional undergraduate students who guide first-semester students, grouped into First-year Interest Groups, or FIGs, through the challenges and adventures of college life.
Students interested in being mentors go through an application and interview process, and those selected register for a weekly training course that improves leadership skills and fosters group discussion on group management strategies, conflict management, and group dynamics. FIG mentors lead study groups, organize dinners and Austin area outings, and participate in campus e