Peer mentorship is a relationship between two people who are at a similar level. In this study, the setting is academic, namely peer mentorship amongst undergraduate engineering students. Within peer mentorship, participants aim to help one another through various activities, such as sharing information, helping motivate, providing advice, lending support, etc. The outcomes of peer mentorship are generally positive and mutually beneficial for mentors and mentees, but the focus of peer mentoring research in undergraduate engineering has primarily been focused on implementing and evaluating formalized peer mentoring efforts, not necessarily on the needs of students who may be in these relationships. To better understand students’ perceptions, students at a western institution in the United States were surveyed during Fall 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 223 completed student survey responses, 79 indicated that they currently had a peer mentor when provided a definition and examples of peer mentorship. These 79 students were asked to describe their peer mentor both in terms of attributes (e.g., race, gender identity, year in school, first generational status, and major) and characteristics (e.g., enjoyment of engineering, value placed on engineering, career interests, extracurricular interests, hobbies, and effort exerted in engineering). Analysis of these student descriptions can provide recommendations of what may be important to students when finding their own peer mentors or peer mentoring advisors when attempting to formally match mentors to mentees.
Christensen, D., & Villanueva Alarcon, I. (2023). Descriptions Of Peer Mentors As Told By Undergraduate Engineering Student Mentees. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI). DOI: 10.21427/JQMH-Q663
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