Peer Mentor Program

HP Peer Mentors
The HP Peer Mentor Program is designed to offer student leaders the skills necessary to maximize their leadership capabilities and academic successes through formal, relevant, and meaningful ongoing training.

High Potential Program Peer Mentors:

  • Proactively engage first generation and low income students, guiding them as they begin their educational journey and college experience.
  • Embody a strong sense of community and purpose enhanced through yearlong training that highlights the importance of self-awareness as a leadership skill and understanding multiple perspectives.
  • Model purpose-driven leadership and demonstrate a genuine commitment to social justice personally, academically, and globally, while working to build a strong SMC identity intentionally designed to promote optimal student development.
  • Serve as college representatives, are expected to be role models, and are required to exhibit the values and culture of Saint Mary’s College.
  • Play a key role in facilitating skill development and learning strategies to enhance students’ academic and personal success during SAILS, contribute to HP FYAC, and participate throughout the academic year in activities associated with the High Potential (HP) Peer Mentoring program (PM).



The HP Peer Mentor Program is designed to offer Peer Mentors the skills necessary to maximize their leadership capabilities and academic successes through formal, relevant, and meaningful ongoing training focused on:

  • Becoming a developmental, strength-based leader
  • Creating strong mentoring relationships
  • Understanding of mentoring processes and learning related strategies and challenges
  • Building effective communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Working on peer leadership development and teamwork


Other benefits include:

  • Compensation based on level of experience and participation
  • Fulfills a Community Engagement Requirement from the Core Curriculum
  • Opportunity to attend local and national conference to present on the Peer Mentor Program
  • Housing and meal plans provided during SAILS
  • Significant contribution to creating a positive environment and impact on the lives of students from diverse backgrounds including low-income and first generation college students



  1. All peer mentors are expected enroll in and successfully complete EDUC 085 – Exploring Leadership, a .25 unit class in the spring semester prior to starting service as a peer mentor to learn about foundations of leadership theory and student development theory.
  2. Applicants must be (at least) of sophomore standing by beginning of the fall semester and must have a cumulative and semester GPA of 2.50 or higher by end of January Term in the first year. A returning Peer Mentor must have a cumulative and semester GPA of 3.0.
  3. Peer Mentors must make a commitment to attend a Saturday morning retreat in May, one Summer orientation session, and the week long peer mentor training prior to the Summer Academic Institute of Leaders and Scholars (SAILS).
  4. PM position student caseloads specific to SAILS will begin in late July. PMs will carry a caseload of 3-6 mentees during SAILS.
  5. PM position student caseloads specific to the academic calendar year begin in the fall. PMs will maintain a caseload of 3-6 mentees. In addition, PMs will be matched with mentees varies depending on academic major or a closely related major, and/or other related things identified to best support each student.
  6. PMs are required to attend Peer Mentor monthly training curriculum sessions and 1:1 sessions, 2x/month with the HP Coach & Peer Mentor Coordinator.


Summer Academic Institute for Leaders and Scholars (SAILS) Responsibilities:

Peer Mentors Must:

  • Be aware of working hours during SAILS  that are designated on the Master Schedule
  • Attend Peer Mentor check-in session from every day.
  • Be available to HP students for individual and small group work.
  • Facilitate Life Skills/Financial Aid Sessions.
  • Work to preserve the integrity of SAILS expectations and policies (i.e. curfew, personal safety, etc.)
  • Continue to provide support even when students say they do not want your “help.”
  • Be actively present for all events as planned (i.e. retreat, outings, etc.)


Academic Year Responsibilities

Peer Mentors Must:

  • Meet twice per month with assigned mentees.
  • Attend regular staff meetings with HP Coach & Peer Mentor Coodrdinator.
  • Participate and co-facilitate Peer Mentor Training Curriculum Sessions.
  • Write a reflection paper at the end of the academic year.
  • Provide ongoing support to HP students enrolled in the HP FYAC, which may include attendance at FYAC classes and related programs.
  • Coordinate, plan and execute HP academic and social events as needed.
  • Participant in the recruitment of first generation and low income students in collaboration with admissions staff and as directed by HP Staff.
  • Serve as an official college representative and role model, and exhibit the values and culture of Saint Mary’s College.


Lead Peer Mentor Responsibilities

  • Lead peer mentors are selected at the time of peer mentor selection.  Two to three are typically selected in a junior/sophomore combination.
  • Lead Peer Mentors must adhere to all responsibilities as outlined for peer mentors PLUS:
    • Mentor and support new and returning peer mentors.
    • Facilitate training sessions/workshops during the peer mentor retreat, SAILS training, and the academic year.
    • Coordinate participation of peer mentors in phone banking, summer orientation sessions, and school/program visits during the academic year.