Peer mentor program helps psychology students navigate their degree

The Psychological Sciences’ Peer Mentor Program is meant to provide a healthy guide to help students navigate their psychological sciences degree. 

This program mainly works with freshmen and sophomores, but juniors and seniors can also have a guide to help them with classes, studying, preparing for grad school and anything else they might need. 

There were only 15 members in 2016, but the group has now grown to 81 members. 

“(It) gives an opportunity to teach inexperienced students what I wish I learned when I got here,” Michelle Whittlesey, president of the organization and a senior psychology major, said. “We’ve heard a lot of really rewarding statements. I’m very proud of how far it’s come.”

To get a mentor, you have to fill out an application which can be picked up in room 144 in Kent Hall. The applications for the spring semester are due February 7.

There is no GPA requirement, but you must be a psychology major or minor to apply. 

“My freshman year was the only year that I had a mentor and it was honestly one of the best things for me,” Lauren Woodbury, a junior psychology major, said. “I had a lot of questions on how to get involved and how to make my resume stand out, as well as how to create a resume. My mentor was also just a friend and we were able to talk about life outside of the psychology realm.”

There are more requirements to be a mentor. You can either be a psychology major with 40 or more credits completed, or have completed or be in the process of completing six psychology classes. You also have to have a GPA over 3.00. If your GPA is lower than a 3.00 you can still apply, but you will have to explain your class history. 

“Everyone has needed a mentor, role model, or someone to look up to at least once in their lives,” Steven Neville, senior psychology major, said. “The opportunity to mentor another psychology student is a great way to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself.” 

Being a mentor requires you to meet with your mentee in person once a month to discuss how they are doing and if they have any questions. 

A mentor and a mentee are typically paired up by their interest in psychology and concentration, so the mentor can effectively help their mentee, as they have taken the same path. 

If there are more mentees than mentors, they allow the mentees to work together, creating a peer mentor group. 

“This program is important because it accomplishes a lot of things,” Woodbury said. “It’s a way for underclassmen to ask questions without fear. Sometimes being on a new campus can be scary and not knowing who to ask to get questions answered or not feeling comfortable enough to ask professors  this is a great way to get involved.”

Contact Ryanne Locker at [email protected].