ACE gives upperclassmen the opportunity to develop their facilitation and leadership skills. Upperclassmen who sign on as Peer Mentors serve as the following for the ACE students:
– Group Leader/Facilitator: As a peer mentor, you will meet weekly with a small cohort of freshmen to develop activities and strategies that will help your students adjust to the academic and social expectations at UHM. You will be expected to assist students with the formation of out-of –class study groups, encourage positive group dynamics that enable all students to feel comfortable and safe in voicing their opinion, thoughts, and concerns, and to serve as a positive role model for our newest students.
– Campus Resource: Part of student success at a large university is knowing when, where, and why to use resources available on campus. ACE peer mentors familiarize themselves with options and opportunities on campus, stay informed about events and activities, and direct students to appropriate offices and/or facilities when necessary. Peer mentor training will include some introduction to campus resources.
– Liaison between Faculty and Students: Peer mentors are an important link between freshmen and their teachers, and can assist students with making personal contact with faculty members and positively influence the interaction between faculty and students. Each ACE cluster is encouraged to schedule a small group meeting with one of the faculty members teaching in the cluster, either formally or informally, in the traditional “Take Your Professor to Lunch.” Peer mentors are asked to facilitate this meeting. Guidelines are covered in training.
What do I get out of being a peer mentor?
Beyond developing your skills as a student, a leader, and a facilitator, you will also earn 4 credits of CAS 301 with a WI and O focus and will receive a $2000 stipend. Peer mentors meet once a week to develop lesson plans, organize social get-togethers for ACE students, share techniques for successful group leadership, and better familiarize themselves with campus resources and opportunities.
Prior to the onset of the Fall semester, ACE holds a week-long mandatory Summer orientation for peer mentors to build on mentoring skills, develop lesson plans, and hear departmental guest speakers.
What kind of activities will I be expected to help plan?
· Community Service: ACE students will complete a community service project during the semester. Peer mentors are expected to help facilitate the freshmen in planning this event.
· ACE Bash: ACE wraps up the semester with an end-of-the-year party, with games, food, and fun! Peer mentors are expected to plan entertainment and games, contact food vendors for catering, decorate the venue, and encourage student involvement.
· Peer Mentor Get-Togethers: Peer mentors often choose to have some out-of-class social gatherings, which they schedule on their own time. Previous groups have gone out to sing karaoke, play pool, or have a barbecue. Your group of peer mentors will probably come up with your own idea of something fun to do.
Which cluster will I peer mentor?
Click on the “Clusters” link to see what course combinations are available. ACE staff will do their best to have you mentor a cluster that matches your career, academic, and personal interests, as well as your course schedule. You will be notified of the cluster during summer orientation.
What qualifications do I need to be a peer mentor?
Applicants must be at least a junior (earned a minimum 55 credits) by the fall semester and be in good academic standing. Most of all, applicants must be sincerely interested in helping freshmen adjust to the demands of university classes and college life, which means that prospective peer mentors need to be willing to devote the time necessary to the program to be an effective ACE group leader. Applicants should be familiar with University resources and social and cultural events on campus, and feel comfortable talking with faculty. ACE also hopes for applicants who have previous experience working with groups.
How do I apply?
Applications for Fall 2016 Peer Mentors are OPEN! Fall 2016 applications will close Feb. 12, 2016 at 4:00pm (HST). Rolling admission based, early applications are recommended.
If you have any other questions about being a mentor or the application process, please stop by the First Year Programs office in Sinclair Mezzanine 1B or call 1-808-956-8626 for more information.
Note: The application process will include an interview with ACE staff.