The First Year Experience program at Weber State University offers leadership opportunities to students interested in becoming peer mentors for the Foundations of College Success course, UNIV 1105 (formerly known as Introduction to the University, EDUC 1105).
Accepted mentors are assigned a specific UNIV 1105 course, and attend each class period that fits with their designated schedules.
The responsibilities of the peer mentors include assisting freshmen with course activities, providing information about campus resources, participating in course discussion, presenting five-minute announcements, teaching one lesson over the semester and supporting the course instructor. Overall, the mentors aid students in reaching their academic and social goals for current and future semesters.
Applications are accepted each semester and can be found online through the FYE website. A minimum 2.5 GPA is a prerequisite for the program.
Submissions are accepted at the FYE office, located in Room 140 of the Student Services Center. An in-person interview will also be part of the application process before approval into the program.
Further instructions on the website give specific requirements, compensation details and a complete list of responsibilities.
Jill Grob, the director of the Student Success Center, said applicants are encouraged to have already taken the UNIV 1105 course, but it is not a requirement for acceptance into the program.
“We prefer students who have completed the FYE course because they’ve already been through the course once, and we think they are most able to help the students succeed in the class,” Grob said. “We are also interested in students who would be great mentors for any class and who have not necessarily taken the class themselves.”
During each semester, the mentors attend a leadership seminar class once a week, UNIV 3170, which Grob teaches. The class provides support, instruction and assistance for all of the current mentors. Two upper-division credits are given for completing the course the first two semesters a student mentors.
Jacob Isaacson, a seasoned mentor and business administration major, has provided his time and support to students for six semesters.
“UNIV 3170 is a class that is set up specifically for the peer mentors,” Isaacson said. “If you don’t know how to handle a certain situation, then all of the peer mentors give you feedback on it and let you know how to handle it. It is a really helpful class.”
Isaacson said the leadership seminar class is especially helpful for new mentors who start the program.
“It is a class that teaches you a variety of different topics,” Isaacson said. “You learn how to become a better peer mentor as well. Some of the stuff you learn you will use in your personal life as well as in your career.”
Aubrey Evans and Kyle Spainhower have been involved in the FYE peer mentoring program for two semesters. They both said they enjoy being mentors.
“It’s really exciting; I enjoy it quite a bit,” Spainhower said. “It has helped me become a better person, in a way, by reaching out to students who can use the help and are getting a grasp on their education. In turn, it has helped me become a better student.”
Every semester, the peer mentors in the UNIV 1105 class teach one assigned lesson to the class. Evans said having to talk in front of the students has helped her build skills and confidence.
“When I first gave a lesson last semester, I was really nervous,” Evans said. “Being able to do a second time, I could see the difference in my confidence level. I love being able to keep building on that and learning from each of those different experiences.”
Grob said she sees mentoring as a great opportunity for students to develop leadership and mentoring skills.
“We have mentors who have mentored seven and eight times,” Grob said. “They feel as if they’ve learned so much by mentoring and by taking the class semester after semester. It doesn’t feel redundant to them.”
Further information about open peer mentoring positions and program specifics is available at www. weber.edu/fye. Students can also call 801-626-6752 to be referred to the most appropriate FYE adviser.