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The impact of peer mentoring in first-year education students

Lapon & Buddington / International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education / October 2023

CMU mentor group

The transition to college presents significant challenges for many students as they navigate new academic and social experiences. In the USA, 30% of first-year students drop out before their second year. Research indicates that mentoring programs help students achieve social integration and likely have a positive effect on their transition to college. This research study was conducted with education students to better understand the potential impacts of peer mentorship. Student mentors and mentees were matched by attributes such as their concentration within the education major, gender, sports they played and whether they were first-generation matriculants. Data collection utilized two surveys one before the peer mentoring process and one after the process. The findings suggest that peer mentoring improved first-generation students' sense of belonging to both their major and the college. Peer mentors also experienced increased belongingness. The transfer rate among participants of 2% was a significant drop from previous years. The success of the peer mentoring experience was possibly due to the intentional matching process based on certain attributes. Additionally, taking a leadership role increased a sense of belonging in the peer mentors.