Share your knowledge and experience to help guide other students through university life by becoming a peer mentor.

As a student peer mentor, you’ll be trained to provide reassurance, guidance and navigation to other students, by giving them a safe and confidential space to talk freely and ask questions.

Benefits include:

  • Undertaking highly interactive training, including group facilitation/management techniques.
  • Consolidating your learning and improving your own academic performance.
  • Increasing your confidence and development of presentation skills.
  • Gaining work-related experience and developing your graduate attributes, including listening, communication, problem-solving and leadership skills.
  • Achieving a University certificate to recognise your input into the peer mentoring service.
  • Logging all volunteering hours to work towards Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Awards.
  • Recognition on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) and an invitation to attend a yearly volunteering award ceremony.
  • Having opportunities to reflect on your role and present your evaluation at faculty or university events.
  • Achieving personal satisfaction from helping others.
  • Getting nominated for Peer Mentor or PAL Leader of the Year.

Why become a peer mentor and/or course mentor?

You can:

  • Develop real-life graduate attributes, including listening, communication, leadership, problem-solving and time management skills and the ability to think on your feet, often sought after in graduate jobs.
  • Improve your presentation/public speaking skills and build self-confidence.
  • Develop your skills in facilitating and mentoring/coaching other students and ability to communicate and change communication to suit the needs of your audience.
  • Improve your knowledge of individual learning styles, such as visual, auditory, reading/writing or kinaesthetic, your awareness of different cultures and your ability to adapt.
  • Use your peer mentoring experience to show an employer that you’ve gone above and beyond your degree and that you’ve been interested in contributing to the wider University community.

 

Volunteering opportunities for mentoring

Pre-arrival peer mentors provide online (email) guidance to new, returning or distant students who have a conditional or firm offer to study with us but haven’t yet started their studies.

The pre-arrival peer mentoring process:

  • A student may request a pre-arrival peer mentor as soon as they have accepted an offer to study with us.
  • Students are matched according to their preferences, or as near as possible.
  • The mentoring relationship is flexible, so it fits around students, their studies and other commitments.
  • A student mentor can choose the amount of time they devote to mentoring and how many mentees they can manage.
  • Both participants can change their mentor or mentee at any point.
  • How the mentoring relationship works is for both participants to agree and decide. This will form the contract/boundaries for the mentoring relationship.

Pastoral mentors provide both online or face-to-face guidance and navigation to students who’ve already started their studies.

The pastoral peer mentoring process:

  • A current student can request a pastoral peer mentor at any point during their studies.
  • Students are matched according to their choices, or as near as possible.
  • The mentoring relationship is flexible, so it fits around students, their studies and other commitments.
  • A student mentor can choose the amount of time they devote to mentoring and how many mentees they can manage.
  • Both participants can change their mentor or mentee at any point.
  • How the mentoring relationship works is for both participants to agree and decide. This will form the contract/boundaries for the mentoring relationship.

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) Leaders provide subject specific, facilitated, peer assisted study sessions (PASS) to help enhance student understanding of their programme. They do not teach, lecture or give out answers. Instead, they are trained in how to structure and lead flexible sessions, so everyone can participate. They are supported by their academic contact (a member of staff from their programme).

PASS typically consists of weekly or fortnightly group sessions, where students carry out tasks to help them reflect on and consolidate their learning. The sessions are not about teaching – they're designed so students can raise questions in a safe and confidential environment and discuss any fears, challenges or opportunities they may be facing.

The PAL process:

  • PALs run and facilitate peer assisted study sessions (PASS) for fellow students on their programme in the level below.
  • PALs provide a safe and confidential space for students to ask questions.
  • PALs are trained in how to structure and lead flexible sessions so everyone can participate.
  • PALs are supported by their academic contact (a member of staff from their programme).
  • PALs do not teach, lecture or give out the answers.
  • PALs may help with problem-solving, study skills, exam techniques and preparation for coursework, assignments and presentations.
  • PALs use their knowledge and experience to help others succeed.
  • PALs agree with the PAL group which material they want to review, improve or understand better.
  • PAL groups bring lecture notes, hand-outs and/or textbooks to refer to in the sessions.
  • PALs and the PAL groups agree together how the group will work to form the contract/boundaries for the group.

When do peer assisted study sessions (PASS) run?

  • PASS can run weekly or fortnightly during a module - so if the module is one semester, there will be at least eight weeks of sessions. Training for PALs takes place over two days before the start of each semester.

How to apply

To apply for a peer mentor position, please complete and send the application form to peermentoring@canterbury.ac.uk.

To apply for a course mentor (PAL) position, please check with your programme first to see if this has been set up, then complete and send the application form to peermentoring@canterbury.ac.uk

You’ll need to register for this volunteer position to be able to log your volunteering hours. Please go to the volunteer website and select the peer mentor position.