The College of Science and Engineering will launch its Peer Mentoring Program in the spring. For the program, students have been selected from each department major to peer mentor other students. Peer mentors will provide a connection with prospective, first-year, returning, transferring, and underrepresented students in their transition to the TCU community by providing resources to increase their success and engagement with the University.
Jessica Alvarez, program director and CSE diversity advocate, says, “I am excited to get started on this new initiative to provide a space for students to receive mentorship from a dedicated group of students who are interested in helping others. The College is investing in this program, so I want to make sure the efforts are effective to provide successful communication to new and current students.”
Mentors will direct students to the appropriate services such as advising in proactive rather than reactive ways. They will be friendly faces for students to develop a sense of belonging in CSE. Students Jacqueline Leon and Molly Koca are acting as peer mentor leads and assisting in selecting CSE students to mentor other students of all majors. Koca says, “Becoming a CSE peer mentor means that we get to reach even more students on this campus.” Leon says she has three goals for the program. “I want to get students to connect with mentors inside and outside their majors so they feel welcomed by the entire college and TCU. I also want to train and foster Peer Mentors that are excited about the program and excited about helping students. These goals will help grow the academic community in CSE,” Leon says.
The Peer Mentoring Program will bring a welcoming and safe space for students to ask for academic assistance, college advice, and guidance. Koca says, “I visited Macyn Willingham, a senior peer mentor, my freshman year to get advice. She told me all about the nutrition classes she was taking because she had added on a nutrition minor to her biology major…If it wasn’t for a peer mentor, I may still, as a junior, not know or like the major I chose. With that said, I wanted to be the same resource for other students that Macyn was for me.”
Peer advisors greatly benefit from this experience. They are developing their communication, organizational, and coping skills, as well as learning how to build strong relationships with their peers. In the time leading up to the launch, CSE faculty and staff have gathered students to sign up and are using this time to train the mentors. In January, mentors will advertise their hours for students to begin signing up.
For more information about CSE’s Peer Mentoring Program, contact Program Director Jessica Alvarez at Jessica.Alvarez@tcu.edu.