Proposal Title

The Mentor Experience: Undergraduate Near-Peer Mentor Outcomes Across Two Institutions

Co-Authors

Chris Geiger, Florida Gulf Coast University

Track

Research Proposal / Learning Theories and Pedagogy

Proposal Abstract

This presentation focuses on the early results of a cross-institutional study considering the impact serving as a mentor has on upper-level undergraduate students. Using a focus group methodology, students in different programs at different universities were interviewed with the goal of identifying common outcomes associated with serving in a near-peer mentoring capacity. While differences in results can be attributed to programmatic variations, similarities are expected to be suggestive of broader commonalities that could be generalizable to multiple programs and universities. The mentoring programs of each university will be discussed as well as combined results and the direction of future work.

Proposal Description

Engaging first-year experiences have been identified as a high-impact practice (Kuh, 2008) across the disciplines. Additionally, while research has in general found mentoring to have positive results (Crisp and Cruz, 2007), Packard (2016) states that “to have an impact, you will need to go beyond traditional mentoring programs … and infuse mentoring into your learning environment” (p.5). And while prior research has focused on the benefits of serving as a mentor as a graduate student (e.g., Dolan & Johnson, 2009), to date limited research has considered near-peer mentoring (i.e. pairing upper- and lower-level undergraduate students). This cross-institutional research seeks to investigate the impact of serving a as near-peer mentor for the upper-level undergraduate student. Outcomes of interest include academic/discipline self-efficacy, skill development, and career development. Two different programs at distinctly different universities both include upper-level undergraduate students as mentors in their respective introductory classes. Program mentors at both institutions are asked to participate in focus group interviews which utilize identical research questions and similar protocols. Data are being collected in the fall 2016 semester, and results of the transcribed interviews will be qualitatively analyzed to identify trends in responses. The presentation will include an overview of the programs and universities, as well as mentor recruitment, selection, training, expectations, and activities prior to a discussion of aggregated results. Identified similarities suggest generalizable benefits and potential barriers to implementation and provide a starting point for further research inquiry. Throughout the presentation speakers will solicit audience interaction on topics such as past and present mentoring programs at their universities, potential applications of these activities within their own programs, and perceived benefits and barriers to implementation.

Session Format

Presentation Session

Location

Room 4

Publication Type and Release Option

Event

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Mar 29th, 3:00 PM Mar 29th, 3:45 PM

The Mentor Experience: Undergraduate Near-Peer Mentor Outcomes Across Two Institutions

Room 4

This presentation focuses on the early results of a cross-institutional study considering the impact serving as a mentor has on upper-level undergraduate students. Using a focus group methodology, students in different programs at different universities were interviewed with the goal of identifying common outcomes associated with serving in a near-peer mentoring capacity. While differences in results can be attributed to programmatic variations, similarities are expected to be suggestive of broader commonalities that could be generalizable to multiple programs and universities. The mentoring programs of each university will be discussed as well as combined results and the direction of future work.