Values Members Procedures      

Foundational Values for our Mentoring Identity and Practice

The Peer Mentoring Program greatly increases classroom learning by using a set of research-based, best mentoring practices.  Foundational values support these practices as mentors develop classroom and training materials, solicit feedback and lead student learning.

1) Value of the individual

We place a high value on our students and that value is reflected in how we structure our program.  Our primary focus is helping each student succeed and grow.  Our mentors facilitate student success by interacting with students individually and in small groups.  Our mentors’ purpose is to increase student learning.  Our first step in improving student learning is demonstrating respect for each student in every activity, program, and policy.

2) Passion for learning

Our mentors must have several important characteristics.  We look for mentors who have a passion to understand both engineering and learning.  Each mentor must have completed the class successfully and be enthusiastic about engineering.  However, our best engineering students are not always our best mentors.  Each mentor must also be interested in seeing others learn.  They must want to transfer their passion for engineering to other students.

3) Alignment with natural learning

Students have natural ways of learning and we focus on those methods.  We believe that students construct knowledge on a foundation of prior knowledge.  Our methods surface deficient prior knowledge and assist students in constructing accurate new knowledge.

4) Collaboration in learning

Our mentors are not experts in either engineering or learning.  They facilitate student learning by creating a collaborative learning environment.  A collaborative learning environment focuses the intelligence of the community on mastering learning challenges.

5) Growth of skills over time

Acquiring and improving skills in engineering and learning takes time.  We provide both time and feedback through an iterative process.  This process is used for both the students with curricular goals and with the mentors as they work on mentoring skills.

6) Value in feedback

Excellent feedback is vital since students learn and improve by practice.  We assess student performance by stating what is well done and what needs improved.  This feedback gives students an outside perspective on their performance and trains students to assess quality work.  Our mentors are trained to give feedback that is both accurate and reinforces the value of the individual.

7) Environment of success

Our mentors create a safety net for our students.  Mentoring practices create an environment of academic challenge, personal attention, and fun.  Student frustration decreases while performance increases resulting in an effective learning environment that maximizes student success.