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.