Orfalea Student Services’ Peer Mentors program might only be a year old, but it’s already contributing to a robust support framework for new student transitions. Student Services issued a call for peer mentors last spring and received a passionate response. 150 upperclassmen, 50 more than last year’s total, signed up to help make the first-year transition a little smoother.
Along with increased numbers, peer mentors will also have increased roles in Orfalea’s First-Year Experience. For the first time, mentors will be directly involved with BUS 100 (Orientation and Student Success) and BUS 206 (Business Professionalism and Career Readiness I) classes, offering guidance and advice to help new students navigate their college experience. This is a big step toward assuring that every student entering the Orfalea College of Business will have access to the support and resources necessary to thrive, especially students from underrepresented and non-traditional backgrounds.
“We have upperclass students who are excited to help their underclass counterparts succeed, and we want to help facilitate that type of intimate and personal connection for everyone involved,” says Assistant Dean of Student Success Amy Carter. “Our goal is to make mentorship and support programs accessible, helpful and comprehensive. Peer mentors are an important part of that process, and we’re thrilled to see the program growing so quickly.”
The 150 student mentors involved with the First-Year Experience this fall are part of a larger, scaffolded student support plan, one that includes multiple types of mentorship—peer, young alumni and executive—along with advising, career-readiness resources and communities for various student populations like the Multicultural Business Program. The goal is to make sure that every student feels supported, welcomed and empowered throughout their time at Cal Poly.
Carter hopes the first-year programming will have students feeling at home right away. “With the immediate mentorship opportunities in BUS 100, we want students to feel engaged and included from the moment they arrive on campus, so that they’ll continue to seek out our resources each year they’re here.”
To learn more about the First-Year Experience or peer mentorship, visit the Orfalea Student Services website.