Student to Student Mentors

Student to Student Mentors

About the Program

The Student-to-Student program links first-year students to returning ESF students in a mentoring relationship. Student-to-Student mentors help new students adapt to the ESF community through informal interactions and by sharing their tips for academic and personal success. This mentorship program requires preparation and a semester-long commitment on the part of the upper class student mentors.

For First Year Students ("Mentees"):

You will meet many Orientation Leaders when you arrive on campus for Orientation - they will be the students responsible for getting you psyched about SUNY ESF and making you feel at home throughout Orientation Weekend. A portion of these energetic students will continue this responsibility by regularly meeting throughout the semester with assigned groups of new students (like yourself!). These "mentors" will help you adjust to the ESF community by taking you to campus and community events and sharing their best tips for academic and personal success. There are also three specific presentations linked to your 132 seminar course. Topics of these presentations include: learning resources, study skills, academic civility and advising strategies. You will learn more details about this program once you meet with your mentor and seminar instructor.

The Student to Student Mentoring program is an extremely wise and worthwhile investment of your time! You will have an opportunity to meet your mentor and the rest of your group on Saturday of Orientation week. Take advantage of this very important resource!

For Mentors:

Instructors: Janine DeBaise

Students must have permission from instructors first before enrolling in this course.

About the Course

This course is designed to give ESF students a chance to work on their leadership skills by mentoring first year students. This one-credit course will give you a chance to continue using the training you will receive during Orientation and to serve the ESF community by mentoring first year students.

Mentors will attend three staff meetings, participate in discussions of first year student concerns, and write reflective pieces about their experiences. As a mentor, you will be assigned a group of first year students. Your responsibility will be to help these students adjust to college life and become active members of the ESF community. Regular mentoring meetings will serve as a forum for questions, comments, tours, introductions and discussions and provide a direct connection for new students to communicate with upper class students. Our expectation is that the meetings will be informal and fun, and that you will serve as a role model to the first year students.

Course Requirements

Staff meetings for mentors:
Mentors: it is especially important that you be prepared to contribute your ideas and your feedback at these staff meetings. This is your chance to help shape the First Year Experience at ESF.

The first meeting is held during the first week of Orientation Leader training. Time and place for the remaining two meetings TBA.

Meetings with small group:
You will each be assigned a group of first year students and given their e-mail addresses at the first staff meeting. We are asking that you meet with your small group once a week during the first month and then once every two weeks for the rest of the semester. The meetings should last about an hour or so.

The agenda for the small group meeting will be largely based on the concerns, questions, and issues of the students in the group, but should also touch on the list of topics discussed at our first staff meeting. The meetings should also be a chance to introduce the first year students to the ESF community. You can take your group to a campus event such as free movie Thursday or a club meeting. You can meet for a meal or take them on a tour of someplace interesting. You are encouraged to take advantage of events at ESF, at SU, or in the Syracuse community. At our first meeting, you will be given a list of upcoming events at ESF and SU.

Written work:
Every time you meet with your group, you are expected to talk about the experience. What concerns do the first year students have? What questions did they ask? What problems are they having socially or academically? Which topic sparked the best discussion? What event did you attend? What was the reaction of the students? How do you think this pilot program is working? What might we do differently next year? If you have reflections and feedback about the staff meetings, you can write about those too.

You will submit your written working by posting it to a listserv. The listserv will give all the mentors a chance to read what other mentors are doing and give each other help and guidance along the way.

At the last staff meeting, you will be asked to submit a reflective statement analyzing your participation in this program and what you have learned from the experience. You will also be asked to evaluate what the first year students have learned and suggest changes for next year.

Contact Information

Janine DeBaise
105 Moon Library

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
1 Forestry Drive | Syracuse, NY 13210 | 315-470-6500
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