The longest running peer support project at the university, offers a fully trained peer mentor to new first year WP students. The mentor shares their first-hand experience to support the transition from school/college into University life.
It is vital that students are supported during their transition from school/college to undergraduate life. This transition involves integrating socially and intellectually – which is an ongoing process. To facilitate this process, peer mentors provide aspects of capital to mentees that they may not possess. In doing so, transition occurs over a shorter period of time and with fewer difficulties.
Each mentee is paired with a mentor who studies a similar academic subject, where possible. Mentoring pairs generally meet every two weeks in person and can keep in touch via email. This year (2020), the meetings will only take place online. The frequency of the meetings might vary depending on the preferences of each pair. This relationship continues for the duration of the mentee’s first two semesters. The meetings focus on the main issues that affect student life. These form the four strands of peer mentoring, namely academic, social, financial, and personal. The mentor will be able to give the benefit of their first-hand experience in these areas and can help their mentee to plan, for example, how to deal with managing a reading list, how to join that society or how to prepare for their first examinations. Mentors can also signpost their mentees to relevant student support and other appropriate University services.
Mentees are first year students from widening participation backgrounds, including those who have been, or are involved in LEAPS, Reach, SWAP, Moving On, UoE Bursary holders, Lloyds Scholars or a below-average performing secondary school. Mentors are senior students (second year students and above), and possibly former mentees, who have been trained on the theory and practice of peer mentoring.