About

Being a Peer Mentor means

  • Striving to be a well-rounded leader and acting as an example to other students  
  • Acting as an academic leader for students to help them develop and enhance their learning strategies
  • Explaining the fundamentals of university learning, such as time management, how to approach a professor, when and how to best review course material, and provide information about various university services available to students
  • Being patient, encouraging, and understanding
  • Supporting students by respecting and adapting to their unique learning styles, backgrounds, and perspectives

As part of the PAL Program, Peer Mentors gain

  • Leadership training
  • A strengthened sense of campus community and connectedness
  • Public speaking, mentoring and facilitation skills
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Insight into the world of higher education and innovative programming
  • An exciting addition to their resume/CV

PAL Programs

Grad Help Peer Mentors are graduate students who help their fellow graduate students through reflection on their own experiences. Grad Help Peer Mentors plan and facilitate workshops on topics of interest to graduate students, across the disciplines, and across graduate degrees. Possible topics include: student-supervisor relationships, journal writing, and getting ready for fieldwork. Some topics, such as how to apply for grant funding, may be of interest to undergraduate students as well as graduate students.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (SLS staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Grad Help Meeting (GH Coordinator & GH Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Workshops: 5-6 per term
  • Content preparation and online updates: 3 to 4 hours per workshop topic

As a Learning Communities (LC) Peer Mentor, you have the opportunity to mentor a group of students, usually first-years, helping them navigate their transition to university and prepare them for a successful academic career. In collaboration with your co-Peer Mentor, you will lead and facilitate dynamic weekly meetings with a group of students. These students will learn together, support each other, develop learning strategies and skills, and collaborate on and make connections between their courses (and their world) as an academic community. LC Peer Mentors also have opportunities for one-to-one interaction and collaboration with U of S faculty, instructors, and alumni. Additionally, you will be supported and mentored by—and maintain regular communications with—LC and SLS staff.

Learning Communities Currently Coordinated by the SLS:

Kinesiology LCs: for first year Kinesiology students

Agriculture and Bioresources LCs: for first year Agriculture and Bioresources students

Engineering LCs: for first year Engineering students

Time Commitment for SLS LCs (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (SLS Staff & PAL Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • LC Meeting (LC Staff from the SLS & LC Peer Mentors): 1 hour every week
  • LC Hour (meeting with LC students & LC Peer Mentors): 1 hour every week
  • Meeting with co-Peer Mentor, content preparation and planning, communication with students, submitting attendance data, online reflections: 2 hours/week

*Please note that this subgroup is only offered in Term 1.

Library Research Skills Peer Mentors work with the U of S library staff along with Student Learning Services to introduce students to the library system and help them develop basic library skills. Basic library skills include conducting searches in the library's catalogue and databases, accessing and retrieving materials at the library, and using library research tools. Library Research Skills Peer Mentors will have the chance to develop leadership skills by working one to one with students and/or leading small support sessions or workshops.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (SLS staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Library Research Skills group meeting: 1 hour/week
  • Content preparation, drop-in office and programming hours: 2 to 4 hours/week

Structured Study Session (SSS) Peer Mentors run collaborative weekly study sessions in some of the larger more challenging introductory courses. SSS peer mentors help students to identify important concepts covered during lectures, provide exercises and sample problems for students to solve, and help students consolidate their learning, all in an informal environment. SSS Peer Mentors will have recently completed the class they support and act as a guide in study sessions. The role of a SSS Peer Mentor is to support and help motivate students to learn in a study group format, ideally strengthening a student’s performance in the course and study skills. SSS Peer Mentors are not expected to provide one-to-one tutoring support or teach/re-teach course material. Students applying to this program must have a final grade of 80% or above in the class they will support.

It is anticipated that we will need SSS Peer Mentors in certain 100 level classes in the following subject areas: Math, Physics and Biology.

Time Commitment (8-10 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (SLS staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • SSS Program Meeting (SSS Coordinator & SSS Peer Mentors) :  average 1/2 hour per week
  • Lecture Attendance: 3 hours/week
  • Offer weekly Structured Study Session: 1.5 hours per week
  • Content preparation & organization: 2 hours/week

Peer Mentors working with the Study Skills Program design and lead small-group workshops in a variety of topics in study skills, including learning styles, how to manage one's time, and preparing for and writing university exams. Study Skills Peer Mentors also provide on-line and in-person support to students with study skills, referrals and transitioning to university.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (SLS staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Study Skills Program Meeting (SS Coordinator & SS Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Workshops: 5-6 per term
  • Content preparation and online updates: 3 to 4 hours per workshop topic
  • Online and in-person support: approximately 1 hour/week

Embracing the goal of “undergraduate students helping undergraduate students with academic endeavours”, this exciting collaboration between the Undergraduate Research Initiative and Student Learning Services offers a new way for undergraduates to connect with the research mission of our institution.  In this subprogram, Undergraduate Research Peer Mentors develop and deliver workshops and drop-in sessions that promote research skill development and capacity building among undergraduate students across all academic disciplines.

Time Commitment (5 hours/week)

  • PAL Meeting (SLS staff & all Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Undergraduate Research Program Meeting (UR Coordinator & UR Peer Mentors): 1 hour every other week
  • Content preparation, workshop delivery and or/drop in sessions: 2-4 hours/week

Qualifications and Requirements

Required

In order to be selected as a Peer Mentor, an applicant must

  • Be registered as a U of S student taking one or more courses
  • Want to help other students learn
  • Commit to a mandatory orientation session
  • Commit to mandatory training during the last weekend in August 
  • Commit to 5-10 hours per week to the program
  • Commit to attending weekly meetings
  • Be willing to participate in formal session evaluations and receive feedback on their peer mentorship role
  • Have a strong academic performance record with an overall average of ideally 75% or more
  • Possess strong verbal and written communication skills and excellent interpersonal skills

Assets

Additional consideration will be given to those who have

  • Leadership skills training
  • Broad academic interests
  • Confidence in public speaking
  • Prior work involving student support
  • Tutoring or teaching experience
  • Additional language(s)

When to Apply

The deadline to apply for the 2017/18 school year has passed.  We anticipate opening the application form for the 2018/19 school year in November 2017.  Please feel free to contact us at pal@usask.ca if you have any questions.