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The Power of Peer Mentoring

Photo describing multiple areas of peer mentoring

What is Peer Mentoring?

Peer Mentoring is a relationship between students who are at the same career stage or age, in which one person has more experience than the other in a particular domain. This allows for support to be provided, as well as knowledge and skills transfer. It is a form of mentorship that usually takes place between a person who has lived through an experience and a person who is new to that experience.

Who are Peer Mentors?

Peer Mentors are students who have experienced and overcome many things that other students struggle with today. Whether it is being new to school, dealing with stress before exams, learning how to read and study effectively, or being overwhelmed by commitments, we have experienced and overcome the same challenges. As Peer Mentors, we are equipped with experiences, wisdom, and advice from others who have mentored us. We also carry resources and professional training provided by CASAS (College of Applied Studies and Academic Success). We are prepared and willing to show you how to take the next step in your personal and academic goals by providing clarity in thought, new perspectives in conversations, and valuable resources to equip you. We will walk alongside and encourage you toward success both personally and academically.

The Benefits

1. Peer Mentoring helps students identify specific goals or needs and directs them toward achieving those goals: Discussing specific goals and challenges with a Peer Mentor gives students the avenue to reflect on where they presently are in their college journey and where they would like to be. College success is hinged on setting goals that are tailored specifically to the students’ needs and are broken down into achievable phases. Peer Mentors can help students identify their goals in various aspects. Specialties are time management and organization, coping with procrastination and stress, building positive habits for university life, college reading, study strategies, and test-taking skills. Peer Mentors also provide the resources and support students need to achieve these goals.

2. Peer Mentoring provides an avenue for self-reflection and problem solving: Sharing concerns about school life, the future, identity, and general experiences with peers can often provide clarity in itself. Sharing with peers who have gone through similar situations and have the knowledge, skills, and ability to help them succeed can help students normalize and validate their feelings. Then, they can assist in finding ways to process those feelings and effectively problem solve.

3. Peer Mentoring promotes transparent and fear-free communication: Peer Mentoring encourages students to communicate freely and openly about their needs, aspirations, and challenges without fear of judgment. Peer Mentors are always willing to listen and empathize with students’ needs and experiences.

4. Peer Mentoring helps students stay accountable: Committing to regular face to face meetings aids accountability and gives students the motivation they need to keep pushing forward towards their goals.

5. Peer Mentoring provides support to students and helps them realize they are not alone: Having someone trustworthy that students can count on to listen and help them grow gives students a sense of security and acceptance. This allows them to gain the confidence they need to thrive academically and personally in all areas of college life.

6. Peer Mentoring provides students with resources for success: The resources available to mentees in CASAS are professional resources that are academically validated and cover various areas, like time management, study skills, stress management, etc. Peer Mentoring resources include but are not limited to Blooms Taxonomy study skills techniques, stress management exercises, “How To” documents, informational videos, productivity apps, calendar print outs or online calendar resources, and more.

7. Peer Mentoring is tailored to suit your unique needs and is designed to help you grow: The mentoring relationship is designed to help students gradually build the confidence they need to face challenges head-on. As the relationship progresses, students will see progress in various aspects of their personal and academic life. In areas where progress is not being made as easily, the student and his or her Peer Mentor can troubleshoot and strategize to find better ways to meet the need. Therefore, Peer Mentors are always helping the student identify their strengths and challenges, and treating the student holistically, in order to facilitate growth.

8. Peer Mentoring connects students with other resources around campus: We can direct you to the Student Advocate Office, LU Serve for CSER, Office of Spiritual Development and Student Counseling Services, Tutoring, Career Services, Professional Advising, Registrar, Office of Residence Life, and Student Financial Services.

Photo of peer mentoring in action
Photo taken by LU Marketing Department

The Misconceptions

With all of the benefits that Peer Mentoring has to offer, there are also some common misconceptions that are worth de-bunking.

1. Misconception: Successful mentoring only happens one-to-one, on a long-term basis and requesting Peer Mentoring is a commitment to time consuming, semester-long appointments. Reality: Mentoring occurs in many ways and can be successful in as few as 3 mentoring appointments.

2. Misconception: Peer Mentors are much older and perfect so I cannot relate to them. Reality: Peer Mentors are students like yourself and have been in your shoes. All of us continue to grow and can use mentoring no matter where we are at in our journeys.

3. Misconception: Peer mentoring is only for high-achieving students. Reality: All college students need mentors who can bring an outside perspective into their lives.

4. Misconception: Only the student being mentored benefits from Peer Mentoring. Reality: Peer mentoring is a reciprocal relationship where both the mentor and mentee can learn from each other, as the mentor actively aids the mentee.

5. Misconception: Peer Mentors are overwhelmed with many students so I should not bother to reach out to them. Reality: Peer Mentors are here for you and always have time for your questions, emails, and appointments.

6. Misconception: Peer Mentors are automatically mentors by their titles. Reality: Peer Mentors have been professionally trained by CASAS, and have developed a consciousness about the issues that students are struggling with. They are patient, respectful, trustworthy, good communicators, as well as great listeners and problem solvers.

The Power of Peer Mentoring

So why should students seek out Peer Mentoring? We were not designed to navigate life or academic challenges alone, we were designed to collaborate with others and uplift one another. Peer mentoring allows students to invite someone else into their academic life and walk that journey with them, showing them an outside perspective that they would not have otherwise gotten alone. It also helps students build social-emotional skills and empowers them to gain skills and knowledge to take the next steps toward success.

Wherever you may be, Peer Mentors are ready to meet you where you are at and help you excel at Liberty University. If you are interested in seeking out a Peer Mentor, go to Academic Peer Mentoring and make an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you!

Written By:

Joseph Owiti


Academic Peer Mentor

Grace Fagbemi


Academic Peer Mentor

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