Peers and Mentors

High-achieving students mentor first-gen peers at California State University at Channel Islands.
Peers and Mentors

A PEER MENTORSHIP mentorship program is being piloted at the Martin V. Smith (MVS) School of Business & Economics at California State University at Channel Islands (CSUCI). The new MVS School Peer Mentorship Program is funded by a US$34,000 grant from the Martin V. & Martha K. Smith Foundation.

High-achieving, upper-division students with demonstrated academic aptitude and leadership skills will serve as embedded mentors in courses that business students often find the most challenging, such as microeconomics, macroeconomics, finance, and managerial accounting. The mentorship program is expected to be especially useful to first-generation students.

The mentors will spend several hours each week providing tutoring and small-group learning sessions. In addition, the mentors will hold walk-in hours and organize events to help their fellow students navigate the “hidden curriculum” on campus. For instance, they will help their mentees find and access academic resources, seek out internships, or approach faculty members during office hours. The program is being piloted in the MVS School’s upper-division business finance course.

“Research shows that many of our first-generation students and students from underrepresented backgrounds may feel more comfortable seeking additional academic and social support from a peer,” says Susan Andrzejewski, interim dean of the MVS School. She adds that the benefit of the program is twofold. “Not only does it allow us to provide additional leadership and campus job opportunities to students who have performed very well, but these students can help 40 or so of their peers succeed as well.”