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Peer Mentoring Program

The Disability Support Services Peer Mentor Program has been developed to assist students enrolled with the University Disability Support Services office who may need or want additional assistance, or support, in order to increase success in college.  The Program is designed to pair incoming students with disabilities with upper class students with or without disabilities.  Mentors use their familiarity with campus life and resources, as well as, their personal experiences as a student with disabilities.  By creating connections between new and more experienced students, the program personalizes the University experience and creates opportunities for rewarding interpersonal relationships.

Students may share information as part of the mentor-mentee relationship and mentor training.  The program will hold such information confidential and under no circumstances will be disclosed to others outside of the University Disability Services Peer Mentor Program. The Peer Mentor Program acts in accordance with and under the supervision of the University Disability Support Services office.

Objectives:

  • To acquaint each new and transfer student with the University, it's structure, services and resources
  • To help new students connect with other peers and at least one upper-class student in a meaningful positive way;
  • To assist the student in personal assessment of their abilities and support the transition to the University academically, socially and personally;
  • To promote attendance to "extracurricular" academic, social, and cultural events;
  • To promote participation in meaningful campus activities.

Program Benefits:

For the mentee, the Program provides support and stability during the transition to the college environment, and offers opportunities to improve communication and self-advocacy skills.  For the mentor, the Program offers opportunities to share knowledge and experience and develop leadership skills.

Mission Statement:

The purpose of the Disability Support Services Peer Mentor Program is to empower students with disabilities to excel in their academics and area of personal growth.  Students will increase their skills for interpersonal relationships, communication, time management, organization, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.  The Disability Services Peer Mentor Program also encourages students with disabilities to become self-reliant, develop leadership skills and practice self-advocacy by building positive relationships. 

Mentors:

As a peer mentor, your main responsibility will be to provide guidance, and support for new students. Moreover, you will give personal attention, help, information, and encouragement, providing freshman with the essential tools and support needed to assist with success in college. You are required to attend all training meetings throughout the academic year. The training concentrates on personal communication skills and understanding the boundaries of your role as a peer mentor as well as covering some of the information you may need.

Requirements for Mentor:

  • Be a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student with or without a disability
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.50*
  • Must be willing to share your personal University experiences
  • Complete an application
  • Participate in an interview
  • Attend orientation
  • Meet twice during the semester with DSS staff to discuss program outcomes  

 *If the cumulative GPA is not 2.50 but the last two to three semesters are a GPA of 2.50 or greater, then the Mentor will be considered for provisional probationary approval to allow a period of time to increase their GPA.  While participating in the program, if a Mentor’s GPA drops below 2.50, the Mentor will be placed on a provisional probationary period for one semester to allow time to increase their GPA.

Mentor Application

Mentees:

Students complete an application, providing personal and academic information, and expressing preferences for matching. Matches may be made according to disability, major, gender, or other criteria. Final decisions about pairing are made by the DSS professional staff. Students are generally notified about the matches early in the fall semester.

Requirements for Mentee:

  • Be a student registered with the DSS office
  • Complete an application
  • Attend orientation
  • Meet twice during the semester with DSS staff to discuss program outcomes

Mentee Application

If you have further questions or are having difficulty accessing the application, please contact the DSS office at 256-765-4214.