IMPACT OF PEER MENTORING ON FRESHMEN ENGINEERING STUDENTS
Keywords: Freshman, retention, advising, peer mentoring
AbstractThe transition from high school to college can be very difficult for many students. At the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering, we have developed a freshmen seminar and concurrent system of mentoring that addresses the changes and difficulties students experience during this transitional time. All first-year University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering students are required to register for and attend a large group lecture course, Engineering 0081 Freshmen Seminar, that addresses various aspects and issues of first-year academic and social life. Each first-year student is also required to select and attend a small-group class that is directed by a sophomore, junior, or senior peer-mentor. This paper details how the small-group, peer-mentored classes are an essential aspect of the success of the large 0081 Freshmen Seminar. The paper will discuss just what the peer-mentoring classes involve, what these classes facilitate, and how these classes contribute to successful transitions from high-school life to the first year of university life, and how this successful transition, in turn, contributes to a students ongoing engineering school success.
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