Peer Mentoring

Peer mentors help and guide students in PES. They work in close collaboration with the professional staff to support and facilitate student wellbeing and success. To their students, they are advocates, educators, role models, and friends.

Each peer mentor is assigned approximately 30 students. They meet with them regularly, usually two or more times a semester, over the course of years one and two at the University.

Peer mentors are provided with advanced training and development opportunities based on the following six competency areas:

1. Leadership

Leadership is a purposeful, collaborative, values-based process that strives for positive social change. With this definition of leadership and the nature of PES’s work, staff members must be leaders - and leadership, including as it’s defined here, must constantly be critically examined (Komives & Wagner, 2009).

2. Interpersonal Communication

Communication for mentors involves high-quality listening, critical thinking, and response. Listening includes hearing, attending, understanding, and remembering. Response includes silent listening, questioning, paraphrasing, empathizing, supporting, analyzing, evaluating, and advising (Adler, Rosenfeld, and Proctor, 2010).

3. Self-Care

Compassion fatigue is common with peer mentors and other helpers. Strategies and actions are used to promote mentors’ personal, holistic wellbeing.

4. Campus and Community Resources

For PES students to achieve academic, career, and personal wellbeing, peer mentors must be experts on a broad range of campus and community resources.

5. Diversity and Social Justice

PES is a diverse community of students with aims of inclusion and social justice for everyone. As such, peer mentors must be equipped with the awareness, knowledge, and skills to meet the needs of all their students and facilitate positive social change.

6. Administration and Technology

Peer mentors use tools, digital and otherwise, which help with the efficient and effective day-to-day operations of the program.


Adler, R. B., Lawrence, B. R., and Proctor, R. F. (2010). Interplay: The process of interpersonal communication. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Komives, S. R., & Wagner, W. (Eds.). (2009). Leadership for a better world: Understanding the social change model of leadership development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.