Peer mentor program established for LIB 100 courses

group of six women, four standing two seated
Pictured with Jennifer Jameslyn, far right, are (seated, from left) Julia Ervin, Alana McKinnie and Louise Koos; standing are, at left, Chavala Ymker and graduate assistant Ashley Eschbach. Peer mentor Madalynne Kowalik is not pictured.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts

The Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies established a peer mentor program to support students in LIB 100 courses and co-curricular events.

Jennifer Jameslyn, director of the Office of Integrative Learning and Advising, said the catalyst behind this idea was student retention.

"LIB 100 courses draw a large number of first-year and transfer students; our peer mentors will help students better understand the core components of those courses and engage them more deeply in co-curricular activities," she said.

In this pilot year, peer mentors will host short discussions following a campus event designated as approved for LIB 100 or LIB 201, lead service learning events, and host tours of campus resources such as social justice centers, Knowledge Market or University Counseling Center.

"The mentors are trained to build bridges and help students connect an event back to the content taught in a class," Jameslyn said.

Five students were hired. Julia Ervin, a senior who is majoring in liberal studies with an emphasis on community development, said she would have benefited from this program as a first-year student.

"The events I went to were very interesting but I would have appreciated the opportunity for a small-group discussion after, to help connect the material from a speaker back to my class," Ervin said.

Faculty members can request a peer mentor to visit a LIB 100 class to highlight co-curricular events and discuss campus resources. More information is online at gvsu.edu/integrativelearning; contact Jameslyn at (616) 331-8200 with questions.