Peer Mentoring Program
In addition to the First Year Experience Learning Community, a near-peer mentoring approach is used with new students who (as a group) are statistically at the highest risk for leaving college without a degree. The program is designed not only to benefit the mentees but to build leadership skills in the upper class near peer mentors who are “seasoned” STEM majors and OSAA Scholars. The peer mentoring program has two components. The first is a course to train effective mentors and the second is a managed program in which trained mentors are paired with new OSAA Scholars entering as freshmen or transfer students.
This program was established to:
- Provide students with a single peer resource who has recently engaged in a college transition experience similar to their own. Peer mentors are able to share information and give advice about personal and academic survival.
- Foster an opportunity to socialize and build mutually supportive relationships with students having similar STEM academic interests and disability perspectives.
- Use peers to effectively teach practical social navigation skills in the college environment and assist the new student with accessing physical and academic resources.
Professional and Academic Mentoring
Many advanced OSAA Scholars regularly meet with OSAA investigators and staff members who themselves are STEM professionals and act as mentors for undergraduate research, graduate school planning and thesis/dissertation committee members for OSAA graduate students. These include faculty members from the Wright State College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Science and Mathematics. OSAA Scholars also receive valuable mentoring from researchers and supervisory engineers who work with them during internships, undergraduate research experiences and cooperative education programs which often extends beyond the internship period.