Prepared by Karlo Avenido, Student Services Manager
Brief Overview: Proactive Peer Mentoring
Welcome to the Peer Mentoring Program! During your stay with us,
your interpersonal skills and your confidence will develop as you
mentor students and improve engagement on campus. This
guidebook will explain the purpose of the program, and provide some
key tips to being successful in this role.
The Student Services Department designed the Peer Mentoring Program to
provide guidance to at-risk or probationary students, helping them succeed in
Hanson through delivering support strategies.
Using the Proactive Model of student advising, you, as Peer Mentors, guide
students who are at risk, enhance their study skills and help them cope with
the demands of post-secondary education, and provide access to support
services we have in school.
What is the Proactive Model? The Proactive Model (also called Intrusive
Model), refers to the system of mentorship and advising which focuses on
bringing services and support programs to students instead of passively
waiting for students to access these services. The model also encourages a
more personal than professional approach to our students, and using
strategies to become an active part of the students’ lives, to keep them
motivated (Varney, 2012).
Another key aspect of the Proactive Model is early intervention: identifying at-
risk students as early as possible. This means that the Peer Mentors are
involved in students’ lives as early as Orientation! Therefore, it is a key part of
the program to get our Peer Mentors involved in our Orientation Week
through giving guided tours of the campus, conducting fun activities with new
students, and getting to know them on a personal level from the very start.
Key to this is constantly reminding students that someone cares about them,
about how their performance in school, and about how they will succeed in
Hanson. Mentoring is more than just academic tutoring: it focuses on
nonacademic factors that prevent students from reaching their full potential
as well. This may include financial stress, family issues, relationship issues,
adjustment issues, etc.
Who Are the Peer Mentors?
Peer Mentors like you are 2nd to 4th semester students who excel in
their program through demonstrating a 3.75 GPA or above, with
attendance rates of more than 90%. Moreover, you have taken initiative
to volunteer to be the go-to person in their class, as shown through your
interactions with peers and instructors. After joining the program, you
must make every effort to ensure that every contact that is made with a
student counts—that every interaction matters. Values might clash and
attitudes might differ, but that is a learning process for both mentor and
student (Nakagawa, 1999).
“A mentor’s principal goal is to nurture total autonomy,
freedom, and development of whom he or she mentors”
A Peer Mentor is:
• A knowledgeable and experienced guide who imparts knowledge with
the goal of academic success and personal growth of both mentor
• A caring counsellor, a friend and facilitator who provides another
resource outside the mentee’s usual environment;
• A role model who exemplifies the values of Hanson and can lead
mentees to a more meaningful stay at Hanson and beyond;
• A trusted advocate, an ally who works with the mentee and on behalf
of the mentee’s best interests and success (Nakagawa, 1999).
What Do We Peer Mentors Do?
Your mandate is to support students academically and socially through
developing caring and beneficial relationships with them and teaching them
appropriate study skills.
Each semester, the Academic and Student Services Departments will
distribute a list of At-Risk/Probation students to you. This list will become
your main contact list for the semester. Your responsibility is to develop
mentoring relationships with these students, explore solutions to challenges
that face them, and to follow up with them on a weekly basis.
Your office hours’ schedules involve conducting academic tutoring, advising,
and consulting with faculty and staff to improve the student experience. You
can also refer students to on-site services such as counselling.
To show peer leadership and support, you and other Peer Mentors will also be
asked to participate and assist in various student activities throughout the
Where can we find the Peer Mentors?
You, as Peer Mentors, play an active role in student growth and development
throughout students’ lives at Hanson. As such, you are present from
Orientation until Convocation. You will be expected to be the most active in
the following school events:
• Orientation: conducting tour guides, helping students find their way through
the college’s registration procedures, familiarizing students with school
policies as outlined in the Orientation presentation
• Major Evaluations: conducting academic tutoring sessions to drop-in
students during Week 4, Week 8 and Week 14
• Important Deadlines: tuition fee deadlines, registration weeks
• Weekly Regular Office Hours: 10-12 hours/week, consulting in Room 6
Mentoring Room or at the Main Campus
• Major Events on Campus: Convocation, Orientation, International Night,
Good Listening Habits
Since Peer Mentors communicate with students most of the time, you need to
establish good listening habits. Read these statements and circle Yes / No
next to the statements (adapted from Nakagawa, 1999).
1. I am easily distracted by noise or by the speaker’s accent or manner of
speaking. ( Yes / No )
2. I look at the speaker’s face, eyes, and movement, and I listen to his/her
tone of voice. ( Yes / No )
3. I think about other topics while listening. ( Yes / No )
4. I listen for what is not being said, as well as for what is being said. ( Yes /
5. I fake attention to the speaker, especially if I’m busy or if I think I know
what the speaker is going to say. ( Yes / No )
6. I show in a physical way that I am listening, and I try to help the speaker
feel at ease. ( Yes / No )
7. I listen largely for details and facts, more than ideas and reasons. ( Yes /
8. I am aware of my own facial, body, and vocal cues that I am using while
listening. ( Yes / No )
9. I take a look at the truth or accuracy of what I have heard before
checking out the interpretation with the speaker. ( Yes / No )
10. I prepare myself for listening by focusing my thoughts on the speaker
and the expected topic and committing my time and energy to them. (
Yes / No )
11. In order to be more productive, I take a look at my phone and answer
emails while the other person is speaking. ( Yes / No )
12. I follow the speaker by reviewing what he or she said, and concentrating
on what the speaker is saying. ( Yes / No )
13. I make comments like “I know what you mean – it happened to me as
well!” and tell my story before letting the other person speak. ( Yes / No )
14. I accept the feelings of the speaker and not reject what they feel or think
no matter how silly it sounds to me. ( Yes / No )
Rate the answers. The “Yes” encircled in the even number statements (2, 4, 6,
8, 10, 12, 14) exhibit good listening habits.
Communicating with the At-Risk List:
During the first few weeks, you might get discouraged by the lack of
engagement received from the students. However, this should not discourage
you from interacting with their students. You are encouraged to develop
innovative ways to get in touch with their students. For instance, Peer
Mentors can directly contact instructors to meet with their students during
scheduled breaks (Earl, 1987).
When communicating with students, it is important to deliver a consistent
message: The Peer Mentoring Program is here to support you. Support from
the PMP not only comes through academic tutoring, but through supporting
you in your stay at Hanson. Guided by the value of success-oriented support,
you shape their communication strategies and attitude towards students in a
supportive, guiding way.
Moreover, you lead your students to choose to succeed.
Challenges Facing Students
• Student factors:
o Low self-esteem, lack of motivation/energy, personal crises
• Classroom factors:
o Bigger class size, lack of recognition in class, no peers in class
• Learning factors:
o Language problems, lack of basic skills, inability to keep up with
o Financial issues, lack of communication, student is a caretaker at
home, first time being free, etc.
As Peer Mentors, we need to focus on solving the following barriers for
• Develop listening skills.
o Refer to the listening/communication inventory attached.
• Focus on your student. Be empathetic.
• Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic motivation.
o Extrinsic Motivation: Students perform well because they will get
rewarded, and believe that they will be punished if they perform poorly.
o Intrinsic Motivation: Students perform well because they feel fulfilled.
Establish a sense of control and self-determination – they are the
master of their own lives. It’s up to them to decide to be successful or
not successful. Our role is to help them succeed, and encourage them
to choose to succeed.
Peer Mentors in Action: How Can You Help?
What support do Peer Mentors get?
• Peer Mentor Training:
o During the first week of the semester, the Student Services
Department will hold a general meeting to serve as training for new
Peer Mentors and refresher for senior Peer Mentors.
o The General Meeting during is mandatory for all Peer Mentors.
• Teacher Support:
o As a Peer Mentor, you can approach your teachers to help you with
coursework should you have any questions on behalf of students.
o Teachers are an additional resource you can refer to when helping
your peers. Feel free to email them, introducing yourself as a Peer
• Support from Student Services:
o Having difficulties getting a student to come to your mentoring
sessions? Come and chat with Student Services staff – they’re here to
• Career Guidance and Resources:
o As a Peer Mentor, you will gain a richness in interpersonal skills, time
management skills, and strengthen your résumé portfolio.
o The Student Services Department can help you get a head start on
your career! Drop by to get résumé/cover letter support.
The role of being a Peer Mentor may be daunting -- you carry many
responsibilities to help students succeed. However, Hanson provides you with
the support you need to excel in this role!
Role Play: What Would You Do?
Here are some scenarios that we might face as Peer Mentors. Discuss with
your fellow Peer Mentors what good steps of action we could take (adapted
from Nakagawa, 1999).
1. Your students tell you that he/she has no one to call for help. How do
you encourage your students to gain support from others?
2. Your students are feeling alone and isolated. How do you help them
increase their social and recreational opportunities?
3. Your students are feeling anxious and nervous about doing well in
college. What can you suggest to help him/her overcome these feelings?
4. Your students bring up an issue that was very painful in the past. You
feel yourself becoming overwhelmed by your own emotional reactions.
What do you do?
5. Your students ask you a question, and you are confused about how to
respond, or you need time to think about an answer. What do you do?
6. Your students keep on saying that they will come to your appointments,
but they never show up. You ask them why, and all they say is that they
will come next time. What do you do?
Semester Timeline for the Peer Mentoring
• Prior to Week 2: Release list of Probationary/At-Risk students to Peer
• Week 2: Introduce Peer Mentors to students during Student Welcome
• Week 3: Getting-to-know-you week, preparation for Evaluation 1
• Week 4: Evaluation 1. Be more available at this time.
• Week 5: Conduct follow-ups and general walk-in tutoring
• Week 6: Follow up with At-Risk/Probationary students
• Week 7: Peer Mentoring Program General Meeting, check-in and
• Week 8: Midterms Week. Be more available at this time.
• Week 9-12: Conduct follow-ups and general walk-in tutoring
• Week 13: Peer Mentoring Program pre-finals check-in and evaluation
• Week 14: Final Exam Week. Be more available for walk-ins and mentees at
• Week 15: Program review and evaluation
Earl, W. R. (N.D.) Intrusive advising for freshmen. Retrieved from the
NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources web
Nakagawa, G. (1999). Developing a Mentoring Perspective. CSUN
Faculty Mentor Program. San Diego City College.
Varney, J. (2012). Proactive (Intrusive) Advising! Academic Advising
Today, 35 (3). Retrieved
Hanson International Academy
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New Westminster, BC V3M 6B9