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Theme: Support Systems and Programs

School of Psychology Peer Mentoring Pilot Programme

Neil M. Drew, Lisbeth T. Pike, Julie A. Pooley, Alison H.C. Young and Lauren Breen
School of Psychology
Edith Cowan University

The transition to university is associated with stress, anxiety and attrition. A Peer Mentoring Programme (PMP) was initiated in the School of Psychology to minimise these adjustment effects. Third year students mentored 30 first year students in semester 1. Sessions were conducted to train the mentors, and included information concerning the university's support services, communication and coping skills, and stress. Mentors and mentees were matched according to demographic variables. Process and outcome evaluations were conducted to explore the experiences of the PMP manager, mentors, and mentees in relation to PMP's aims and activities. On the whole, the mentees perceived that the advice, support, friendship, and information received via the PMP lead to benefits in their personal and professional lives. Academically, the mentees thought the mentors were helpful in providing information and assistance, particularly with the library and computers. The findings support the position that PMP's reduce stress and attrition.

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