A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding the Impact of a First-Year Peer Mentor Program
Author(s): DeMarinis, M., Beaulieu, J., Cull, I., & Abd-El-Aziz, A.
Citation: DeMarinis, M., Beaulieu, J., Cull, I., & Abd-El-Aziz, A. (2017). A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding the Impact of a First-Year Peer Mentor Program. Journal of The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition, 29(2), 93-107.
This study is a mixed-methods research project designed to measure the effectiveness of a peer mentor program in meeting institutional goals such as increased academic performance and retention. The results suggest that peers are useful in helping students manage the demands of the first year by normalizing the experience and linking the students to campus supports. The results also demonstrate a relationship between first-year students who interact with a peer mentor and increased academic performance; however, the link to retention is not as clear. More research, over a longer time frame, is needed to understand the factors that affect retention. The intention of this research is to contribute to the growing body of literature that helps practitioners champion retention initiatives that respond to the holistic needs of first-year students.