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A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding the Impact of a First-Year Peer Mentor Program

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This study is a mixed-methods research project designed to measure the effectiveness of a peer mentor program in meeting institutional goals such as increased academic performance and retention. The results suggest that peers are useful in helping students manage the demands of the first year by normalizing the experience and linking the students to campus supports. The results also demonstrate a relationship between first-year students who interact with a peer mentor and increased academic performance; however, the link to retention is not as clear. More research, over a longer time frame, is needed to understand the factors that affect retention. The intention of this research is to contribute to the growing body of literature that helps practitioners champion retention initiatives that respond to the holistic needs of first-year students.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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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