June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.945.1 - 15.945.16
Peer Mentoring: Impact on Mentees and Comparison with Non-Participants
Peer mentoring programs are a method often implemented to help address retention in engineering especially during the first and second years of study. This study examines the impact of a well-established engineering peer mentoring program in a large eastern U.S. university.
Peer mentoring programs for women, Hispanic and African American students had been in existence since the 1990’s. In fall 2005, the college increased the types of peer mentoring programs offered to include programs for male, transfer student, and general undergraduate engineering program participants. This increase in program offerings substantially increased overall mentor program participation and offered an opportunity for enhanced assessment and analysis.
For this study, we analyzed both pre and post survey data from mentor program participants to look at the impact of program participation on intentions to persist and their feelings of belonging in engineering, and differences in post survey responses by gender, ethnicity and mentor program variations. Finally we report the actual retention / graduation data for this cohort of participants and discuss these figures relative to the overall college of engineering.
Research has shown that the first year of an engineering program is critical to students’ success and specifically to their ability and decision to stay in an engineering degree program 1. Peer mentoring programs – where upper division students work with entering students – are a popular way to support the success of first-year engineering students. Mentoring programs are based on theory that proposes the benefits of reducing feelings of isolation and developing a strong sense of self via support and positive role models 2. Mentoring has been shown to benefit the protégé’s sense of confidence, self-esteem and in educational settings, improve retention 3,4.
The mentoring program studied was established in 1992 to support Hispanic, African American and female first-year engineering students at an eastern U.S. university. In 2005 the program was expanded to include all first-year students interested in participating 5. Trained and high performing upper-class engineering students are paired with groups of mentees and participate in welcoming receptions the first two evenings of the fall term. Throughout the fall term,
Marra, R., & Edmister, W., & Watford, B., & Bogue, B., & Tsai, C., & Gooden, F. (2010, June), Peer Mentoring: Impact On Mentees And Comparison With Non Participants Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15884
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