IMPACT OF PEER MENTORING ON FRESHMEN ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Dan Budny, Cheryl Paul, Beth Bateman Newborg

Abstract


The 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.

Keywords


Freshman, retention, advising, peer mentoring

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JSTEM. ISSN: 1557-5284