Peer Mentor Program

What is the Peer Mentor Program?

The Peer Mentor Program in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Utah pairs experienced Juniors and Seniors with students new to the program, including both first year and transfer students.

Mission

Mechanical Engineering Peer Mentor Program is dedicated to helping incoming students succeed by giving these students a sense of belonging within the Mechanical Engineering program and the greater University of Utah community.

Program Goals

  • Provide new students with a sense of belonging within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the University of Utah campus community
  • Help retain students within the Mechanical Engineering major
  • Help improve student completion/graduation rates within the Mechanical Engineering major
  • Support student success

Background

  • According to the American Society of Engineering Education, 40-50% of engineering students drop out of engineering programs.
  • Research shows that the top three reasons (Mara, Shen, Rogers & Bogue, 2006) that students drop out of an engineering program are:
    • lack of sense of belonging
    • issues related to faculty/teaching or advising
    • difficulty of curriculum
  • In a study of the effects of peer mentoring on first-year college students (Hall, 2006), mentees who took advantage of the availability of peer mentors reported higher levels of success in transitioning to the university, were more likely to identify with the university community and found the program helpful in a number of aspects of adjustment to university life than students who did not take full advantage of the program.
  • In a longitudinal study of undergraduate women in Engineering and Science majors (Brainard & Carlin, 1998), the most frequent reasons for leaving included “not feeling accepted in their department,” and top persistence factors included “influence of a mentor.”

Resources

Peer Mentor Handbook

Mechanical Engineering Tutoring
Career Services
Counseling Center
Student Success Advocates
Women’s Resource Center
Math Tutoring
Writing Center
ASUU Tutoring Center

Contact Information

Academic Advisor
Joy Velarde

Academic Advisor
Katie Barnard

Sponsor the Peer Mentor Program