Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies
Elizabeth A. Jones.
The purpose of this study was to examine the satisfaction and perceived learning and development of university peer mentors. Mentoring research exists that focus on student retention, academic achievement, and satisfaction of university students who are mentored, but little research exists that provides a comprehensive, quantitative perspective of learning and development of university peer mentors.;This study was conducted at a master's level, public university which has an extensive peer mentoring program designed to assist new students with the transition to the university. The peer mentors are primarily traditionally-aged students (under the age of 25), and the majority of these students live on or near campus. An on-line survey, which measured satisfaction and perceived learning and development, Survey Regarding Satisfaction, Learning and Development of Peer Mentors in Higher Education, was distributed to 600 student peer mentors during the spring 2011 semester. Over 50% (N=317) of peer mentors responded.;Based on the literature review, nine categories of learning and development were created: Academic Success, Collaboration, Communication Skills, Decision-Making and Problem- Solving, Diversity, Intrinsic Benefits, Leadership Involvement, Reflection and Student Engagement. This study found that peer mentors perceive that they are learning and developing in seven of the nine categories. The two categories in which peer mentors did not perceive gains are Leadership Involvement and Student Engagement. Over one-third of the peer mentors reported that they were neutral or disagreed that since becoming a peer mentor they participated in leadership development opportunities (such as leadership courses and/or workshops), held one leadership position in a student organization, participated in campus activities more often, or felt more comfortable asking questions in class.;Statistically significant differences were identified in two learning and development categories, based on years students served as mentors. Peer mentors who served two years in that role reported higher agreement that they were more involved in leadership opportunities than mentors who served one year and, they also reported higher agreement than three-or-more-year mentors that they were more engaged on campus.;Statistically significant differences were also identified in four learning and development categories, based on the college in which the peer mentors' major is housed. Liberal Arts mentors reported less agreement that their communication skills and intrinsic benefits have been enhanced in comparison to the Science and Technology peer mentors. The Liberal Arts mentors also reported less agreement that they have enhanced their reflection skills or are more engaged on campus, in comparison to both the Education and Human Service and Science and Technology peer mentors.;This study found that peer mentors are satisfied with the mentoring program staff and their mentoring experience. No significant differences were identified based on years of service as a mentor and based on the college in which their major is housed.;This study provides comprehensive quantitative research to measure learning and development of peer mentors in a university setting. Practitioners could use this information to re-examine how peer mentors are encouraged to engage in leadership opportunities and overall student engagement, in- and out-of-the-classroom. Further examination needs to explore why Liberal Arts peer mentors reported less agreement than the Education and Human Services and Science and Technology peer mentors in regard to communication skills, intrinsic benefits, reflection, and student engagement.
Posa, Karen L., "A Study of Satisfaction and Perceived Learning and Development of Peer Mentors in Higher Education" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3065.