Professionalizing the Role of Peer Leaders in STEM

Bethany Vice Bowling

Abstract


Efforts to improve retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors frequently utilize peer mentors and/or leaders. At Authors’ University, the STEM Ambassador (SA) program involves students in the creation of a STEM community through multifaceted roles as mentors, peer-learning facilitators, and social organizers. The program utilizes best practices in organizational leadership and leadership development to maximize the effectiveness of the SAs. The program has resulted in positive perceptions of the SAs, increased retention of STEM students that participate in the SA-led activities, and a well nurtured, professionally developed set of students that serve as SAs.

Keywords


peer mentoring; peer leaders

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JSTEM. ISSN: 1557-5284