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A Qualitative Study of the Learning Processes and Outcomes Associated With Students Who Serve as Peer Mentors

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While students who serve as peer mentors seem to experience significant growth and development, little research exists on learning outcomes associated with this experience. The purpose of this study was to examine what type of learning students who served as peer mentors experienced during the mentoring process. In this generic qualitative study, peer mentors who worked with undergraduate first-year students in learning communities were interviewed about their perceptions of what they learned from their experiences as well as how that learning impacted their personal and professional development. Interviews with peer mentors revealed that they learn through self-reflective and collaborative processes by reflecting on their own personal experiences and integrating learning from those experiences into their mentoring style. Peer mentors internalize learning experiences and immediately apply them to their own personal development while discovering practical career-related applications for how to use what they learn.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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