Psychology Peer Mentor Program
“Psychology courses have produced higher pass rates using pedagogical innovations such as small-group discussions and review sessions with peer mentors”
Peer Mentors are undergraduate students at UMBC who have successfully passed an Introductory Psychology course with an A and have a GPA of at least 3.0. All majors are encouraged to apply for this role, as this is a general education course enrolling over 1000 students a year, and diversity of majors affords the opportunity for different disciplines to connect to this foundational course. Peer Mentors must commit to at least four semesters in this role.
Undergraduates meeting the criteria can complete the application, which is provided below. Eligible applicants are interviewed by the Coordinator and Lead Peer Mentors, informed of the preparation, supervision and commitment required, and reviewed for appointment.
Peer Mentors must enroll in either EDU 313 or PSYC 398 in their first semester of the program. EDU 313 focuses on collaborative/interactive learning, communication skills for tutoring, developing successful tutoring sessions, learning, and teaching styles, and content/skill-specific tutoring techniques that can be applied broadly to several courses across the university. PSYC 398 focuses on facilitative learning that is specific to PSYC 100. Both EDU 313 and PSYC 398 focus on a variety of teaching methods including discussion, group work, and experiential exercises. Students model, practice, evaluate, and develop tutoring techniques alone and in groups, and apply the principles and strategies they learn in actual tutoring sessions. This training enables Peer Mentors to develop confident, flexible tutoring styles that empower students (tutees or mentees) to become confident, self-reliant learners. Peer Mentors who wish to continue to EDU 314 after successful completion of EDU 313 can earn tutor certification indicating their completed training level (CRLA Regular, or Advanced).
Peer Mentors commit to attending synchronous class sessions to help students review materials and prepare for unit exams. They prepare content questions for class discussion, promote participation, and clarify content.
Outside of the classroom Peer Mentors provide study sessions, exam review sessions, and individual attention to complex material. Due to current COVID restrictions, all sessions are held virtually. Peer Mentor groups organize study sessions for large numbers of students and are also available for one-on-one tutoring.
On average, Peer Mentors commit 3 hours per week to dedicate to Peer Mentor activities. The Lead Peer Mentors organize the Peer Mentor Group, support the Coordinator’s efforts to supervise peer mentors, monitor class discussion boards, and post the contact information and review session times for each peer mentor on Blackboard courses. The Lead Peer Mentors keep in contact with all peer mentors, supports new mentors and maintain the Dropbox of resources for all Peer Mentors to use.
Peer Mentor group supervision occurs once a month during an hour group session with the Coordinator. These sessions are mandatory and any mentor missing these sessions will be restricted from continuing in the role.
Feedback on the Peer Mentors as a group is gathered from each section of Introductory Psychology regularly throughout the semester. This information is shared with Peer Mentors and changes may be made relevant to this feedback.
Please send your completed application to Dr. Laura Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Payment for the Peer Mentors is a combination of Academic Success Center and Psychology department funds, with class time supported by the department. Online timesheets are submitted according to UMBC policy.