Peer Mentors: Students can now be guided by someone like them
Writer| Rosamelia Sanchez
During the fall of 2021, LCCC started a peer mentoring program. The program runs through the First-Year-Experience program (FYE). Its participants are second-year students who can help new students navigate college smoothly.
Dr. Dorothy Collins, Dean of Academic Support and Success at LCCC, thinks it is essential for students to connect with other students.
“What better way than for it to be somebody who looks like you coming into college and is able to tell you how they made it through their first year?” she said.
One of the main focuses of the program is to assist students with learning how to utilize some of the resources offered by the college.
According to Dr. Collins, sometimes students do not know how to access these resources, including learning management tools on Canvas.
“I think the peer mentors are going to be able to help them because they have similar experiences and they have successfully navigated some of those tools,” Dr. Collins said.
As of October 2021, the peer mentoring program consists of five peer mentors who are in their second year at LCCC. All of the peer mentors have different backgrounds and career paths.
According to Connor Teschko, intern for FYE, the diversity within the peer mentors is refreshing.
“All the peer mentors have different backgrounds, majors and personalities,” he said. “The diversity of this group is great because having different experiences can help create bonds and connections between peer mentors and students.”
Jace Mary, the peer mentor for healthcare, science, and engineering, thinks that making an effort as a person of color in a leadership position can bring a different view and be comforting for some students.
“Being a peer mentor who is also a person of color can make me more approachable for students of color,” she said.
The program’s main goal is to build relationships between students that can help them reach outside connections and information.
These relationships can be one of the factors that contribute to a student’s success since a peer mentor can be a reference, a guide, or simply a peer that accompanies students in their new college journey.