Mentors and Mentored Inquiry

*For information about applying to become a Peer Mentor, click here.*

Mentor Program Flyer

University Studies employs a unique strategy for addressing student success at Portland State University. During the year-long freshman level course (Freshman Inquiry) and term-long sophomore level courses (Sophomore Inquiry), upper-division undergraduate and graduate peer mentors are partnered with faculty to deliver these courses. The mentor program is a community of mentors trained to provide leadership and academic support to students in mentor sessions. Mentor Sessions are designed to help students gain experience doing high quality academic work in small groups.

What does a mentor do? 

Mentors plan and facilitate 50-minute mentor sessions for Freshman Inquiry and Sophomore Inquiry courses. Successful mentors are flexible, perform multiple roles and approach topics through a variety of lenses. Mentors serve as colleagues and teachers, helping students learn the academic culture. They bridge faculty and students and help build positive learning communities among students. They work closely with their faculty partners and are creative team players in implementing course objectives. Mentors work at least 10-20 hours per week, and are asked to complete an additional 5 hours of professional development each term.  Because some PSU administrators have said that Peer Mentors are often "the best students on campus," we recruit undergraduate and graduate Peer Mentors by offering them competitive compensation.

What else is expected from mentors? 

Be well trained.  All new mentors must enroll in a four-credit Mentor Training course that is offered in the spring. The course must be completed successfully before new mentors are formally hired. In addition, mentors must participate in a week-long fall training prior to the start of school. Spring and fall training are required to become a mentor.

Be minimally competent in the use of technology. All new mentors will be expected to have knowledge of basic academic technology programs. The University Studies program has a dedicated technology training lab in Cramer Hall 166. Mentors are given priority access to the lab and its mentor technology trainers to learn about using these technologies in the classroom with their students.

Actively participate in a learning community. All mentors must complete 7 hours of on-going training per quarter.

Be a full-time student.  All mentors must be full time PSU students. Undergraduate Peer Mentors must take, and pass, a minimum of 12 credit hours per term. Graduate Peer Mentors must take, and pass, 9 credit hours per term.

*For information about applying to become a Peer Mentor, click here.*

What is a mentor?

Mentors are capable, creative, high-achieving, and experienced students who help other students make the most out of their academic careers. Undergraduate Peer Mentors are juniors or seniors who work with first-year students in year-long Freshman Inquiry courses. Graduate Peer Mentors come from all academic disciplines and work with Sophomore Inquiry courses.