Oceanside CA– MiraCosta College’s new Academic Peer Mentoring Program began in fall 2014, thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Student Success Committee. The goal of the program is to provide first-year students who are new to college with the foundational support they need to succeed.
“I see the program as a catalyst for students to become successful academically and personally,” said Dr. Edward Pohlert, faculty director of Retention Services and one of the individuals who spearheaded the program.
The program partners new students with continuing students who serve as mentors. The program also offers field trips, free school supplies, academic success workshops, organized study halls and team building.
“This is the kind of personal touch that connects students to the institution and I hope will help them to be more successful,” said Dr. Richard Robertson, MiraCosta’s interim superintendent/president.
The program currently consists of 23 peer mentors who are second- and third-year students, and approximately 200 first-year mentees. To participate, mentees must be new college students who are first generation college students, athletes, or a participant in other MiraCosta College programs such as First Year Experience (FYE), Umoja or Puente, or have scored at pre-transfer levels for math and/or English.
“We know from national research that students are more likely to continue working toward their academic goals if they are successful in completing their first year of college,” program coordinator Kathleen Soto-Gomez said. “This is why we believe it is critical for us to provide this academic support to new MiraCosta students.”
An integral part of the program is that the mentors who help the mentees through their first-year of college. The responsibility in guiding the students is not just enjoyable, but fulfilling.
“The program helps students who have taken the next step to see the value of their choice and keep them on the right track, which is very rewarding and a great pleasure to be part of,” said Peer Mentor and Associated Student Government (ASG) member Charity Singleton.
Mentee Gaby Gaston loves the idea of having a mentor and knew she wanted to participate in the program after receiving an email invitation last summer.
“I feel that the peer mentoring program is important because the mentors genuinely want to see you do well and succeed as a student at MiraCosta—and beyond. I would recommend anyone of any age join the program,” Gaby said.
For more information about the Academic Peer Mentoring Program, including how to join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the program’s website at: miracosta.edu/peermentoring.