Why is peer mentoring important?

If you are new to peer mentoring, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Here are some research-based reasons to participate in peer mentoring programs, and some functions that peer mentors serve as their mentees make the transition to University of Louisville.

Graduate students who have good mentors are more likely to remain in school until they graduate and are also more successful.

While nothing can replace good faculty mentoring, peer mentoring can contribute to the retention and graduation of our students in a number of ways.

Peer mentors can assist in the recruiting of students, simply by getting in touch with admitted students and answering questions about the program, the faculty, the academic culture.

A peer mentor can help an incoming student become established in the community (with advice on housing, shopping, finding campus health, childcare, leisure-time activities, etc.).

A peer mentor can help students understand program expectations or policies.

A peer mentor can accompany new students to events hosted by the department (whether academic, such as speaker events, or social).

A peer mentor can help new students identify faculty whose interests might be aligned with theirs.

A peer mentor can direct new students to campus resources (Writing Center, Delphi, SIGS, PLAN events, Graduate Student Council).

A peer mentor can answer the questions new students sometimes feel are too small or silly to ask a faculty member.

A peer mentor can continue to mentor students after they are no longer new, by providing advice about academic progress, projects and papers, comprehensive exams, writing research proposals.