Each semester, the SAW program pairs approximately 20-30 SAW Peer Mentors with faculty partners to provide mentorship to students in particular writing- and speaking-intensive courses across the disciplines.
This forum allows SAW Peer Mentors to work with the same small group of students for an entire semester. The SAW Peer Mentor’s role is to initiate and to build a mentoring relationship with each student in the class. With guidance from the SAW Program, the SAW Peer Mentor and the faculty partner work together to craft the mentor’s precise activities in order to allow that mentorship to flourish.
Usually, the SAW Peer Mentor meets with students at the beginning of the term to learn about their passions and goals. As the semester progresses, mentors schedule appointments for one-on-one sessions with students, host workshops on various aspects of the writing process and/or public speaking, offer group appointments, and more. While they are not expected to be an expert on course content or a formal evaluator of student work, they often have taken courses in the discipline or with the professor. They may draw upon knowledge gleaned from those experiences in her work with students. They may facilitate class discussions or writing-related or speaking-related activities, film student speeches or moderate debates, lead a small group through a peer review session or play the role as audience member for a group presentation, direct students to resources and communicate with the professor about patterns of questions she observes.
As a result, the students receive the benefit of a close relationship and regular one-on-one attention to their work. The mentors profit immensely from being mentored in turn by the exceptional MHC faculty members with whom they work. Faculty find a heightened level of engagement among their students in the course and an improvement in the quality of student writing and speaking assignments.