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Evaluating A Peer Leadership Model In A Large Scale Peer Mentoring Program

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Mentoring First Year Students

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

15.528.1 - 15.528.9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16206

Download Count

92

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Paper Authors

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Rosemary Patterson Virginia Tech

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ROSEMARY R. PATTERSON is a graduate research assistant in the Mining and Minerals Engineering Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She received her B.S. in Mining and Minerals Engineering with a business minor from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Mining and Minerals Engineering with a focus in mine ventilation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Erin Crede Virginia Tech

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ERIN D. CREDE is a PhD student in the department of Engineering Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she also completed her B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering. Her doctoral research focuses on the social aspects of graduate education in engineering departments with internationally diverse populations. In 2008 she was awarded a College of Engineering Graduate Teaching Fellowship, and is currently teaching undergraduate courses for the Department of Engineering Education and the Aerospace Engineering Department.

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Kaitlyn Hines Virginia Tech

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KAITLYN N. HINES is an undergraduate student in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She will receive her B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and a B.A. in Economics in May 2010.

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Tyler Aarons Virginia Tech

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TYLER D. AARONS is a graduate student in the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University pursuing his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Jean-Louis Bile Virginia Tech

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JEAN-LOUIS K. BILÉ is a senior in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Jared Chelko Virginia Tech

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JARED T. CHELKO is a senior in the Computer Science Department at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Jared has been a mentor for the CEED first-year mentoring programs since the fall of 2006 and currently serves as a peer leader in the program.

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Whitney Edmister Virginia Tech

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WHITNEY A. EDMISTER is the Assistant Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She received her M.S. in Counselor Education, Student Affairs Administration from Radford University and M.S.in Vocational-Technical Education and B.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise both from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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Bevlee Watford Virginia Tech

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DR. BEVELEE A. WATFORD, P.E. is the founding Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, established in 1992, and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Watford received the ASEE 2003 Minorities in Engineering award due to her efforts to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of under-represented students in engineering.

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Abstract
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Evaluating a Peer Leadership Model in a Large Scale Peer Mentoring Program Abstract Retaining students in engineering and the sciences depends largely on the availability of resources for first-year students, and as a result, mentoring programs have evolved to guide and support new engineering students1. In the past, a peer mentoring program at a large research university on the east coast was led by one administrative faculty member. A major structural change to the program was made this year, to incorporate six peer leaders, all veteran mentors, who assumed many of the tasks of the original coordinator. Along with expanding leadership, other changes included shortening the program length from a full semester to ten weeks and utilizing Scholar, the U -based course management system, to streamline the administration of the program. At the conclusion of the program, mentors were asked to complete an optional survey to evaluate the success of the program. Questions were focused on the relative success of the changes made to the program structure, including the leadership change, and shortened program length. Additionally, mentors were asked to comment on the use of Scholar and its ability to facilitate prompt feedback for weekly reports. The results of this survey have been analyzed and conclusions have been drawn. Finally, a model, based on the

an improved peer leadership model for future peer mentoring programs. The results of the survey data led to the formation of several recommended changes to be implemented including a reworking of the online course management system and a predetermined group of mentors assigned to each peer leader for the duration of the program.

Introduction During the last decade, undergraduate enrollment in engineering has shown strong fluctuations. Freshman enrollment increased until 2003, experienced decreasing trends for 2003-2005, and then has gradually increased from 2006 to 20082. Although the increase over the past few years in freshman enrollment numbers is promising, the retention of those students in engineering after 2 their freshman year continues to suffer. Based on data from N enrollment in engineering drops approximately 20% between freshman and sophomore year. This decrease in enrollment is primarily due to the challenging nature of the engineering curriculum coupled with the many adjustments that first-year students have to make during the transition to college life. These challenges make it difficult for many freshman engineering students to find a balance between a rigorous curriculum with all of the other changes. Peer mentoring has been viewed as one promising solution to the retention challenge. Thus, peer mentoring programs have been adopted, with varying levels of success, at many colleges and universities across the country. The University of Arkansas1 attributed the success of its pilot peer mentoring program to several key factors: proper mentor selection, mentor training, freshman mentee training, proper mentor/mentee matching, weekly targeted one-on-one meetings with mentees, well timed information and mentee support, proper referrals, group mentee social activities, and mentor handbook development. While the engineering peer mentoring program at a large public university in Eastern United States has many of these

Patterson, R., & Crede, E., & Hines, K., & Aarons, T., & Bile, J., & Chelko, J., & Edmister, W., & Watford, B. (2010, June), Evaluating A Peer Leadership Model In A Large Scale Peer Mentoring Program Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16206

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015