The value of a semi-formal peer mentorship program for first-year students’ studies, socialization and adaptation
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AbstractMentoring is a widespread practice in different sectors in society. It is particularly prevalent in higher education. Many have acknowledged the various transitional challenges encountered by first-year tertiary-level students. Greater support is therefore needed for this particular student group. This mixed-methods year-long case study examined the value of a semi-formal peer mentorship program for 10 first-year students who were low-achievers. It focused on the assistance provided by peer mentors for their studies, socialization, and adaptation to college/university life. The three mentors’ views of the program were also explored. Data were collected via questionnaires administered three times to the mentees and end-of-program group interviews for both the mentees and mentors. The overall findings show that the students perceived the assistance from the mentors to be useful for academic studies, socialization, and adaptation to college/university life. However, their perceptions varied across the entire year. The metaphors used by the mentees to describe their mentors—shepherds, torches and candlewax—depicted different facets of the mentee-mentor relationships and the value of the program. The study highlights the value of such semi-formal peer mentoring for low-achieving first-year students especially for institutions which lack resources.
Acceptance Date05/07/2020
All Author(s) ListArt Tsang
Journal nameActive Learning in Higher Education
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsfirst-year students, low-achievers, mentorship program, peer mentoring, transition

Last updated on 2021-28-11 at 00:12