Life as an Academic Peer Mentor
February 28, 2017
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Many people know of the diverse tutoring help available at the University of New Haven; one of these options are the Academic Peer Mentors (APMs), who are stationed inside various residence halls. These students live in the residence halls they work in, with the exception of West Side Hall, making them that much more accessible to students in need. There is an APM for all freshman residence halls, as well as for Winchester Hall and Botwinik Hall.
Every March, students can apply to be an Academic Peer Mentor for the year ahead. The hiring process takes up the duration of March and involves interviews with members of the Office of Residential Life, the Center for Student Success, and a current Academic Peer Mentor. All Academic Peer Mentors who have gone through this hiring process and were hired, have had the opportunity to grow and enhance their leadership and communication skills in this important position. First-Year students can especially benefit from an Academic Peer Mentor, as they are there to help students transition to college life as well as help them with time management skills and pointing them towards useful resources on campus.
“The hardest part about my position is getting a large amount of residents to utilize my position to benefit them during their first year at college,” says Ashley DiScanio, current Academic Peer Mentor for Bergami Hall. DiScanio knows that first-year students can benefit from her help the most and wishes more would reach out to her.
All Academic Peer Mentors host office hours, as well as resource hours, during which they are available to anyone who needs them. These hours are typically posted on their doors and occasionally sent out in e-mails to the building residents. During these resource and office hours, residents can ask their Academic Peer Mentors for help with homework, organization, or any other academic needs. If there is anything that the Academic Peer Mentor cannot help with, they will always refer their residents to the person who can help. Academic Peer Mentors also host various programs to help residents through various tasks such as class registration, organizing their planners, and more.
DiScanio’s favorite part of her job as an Academic Peer Mentor is her ability to work closely with the Resident Assistants in her building as they create a welcoming environment for their residents. Becoming an Academic Peer Mentor, DiScanio says, “allows individuals to grow in terms of leadership and communication skills.” Academic Peer Mentors live on their own and are required to put on programs and interact with their residents. Through these two basic tasks, anyone who becomes an Academic Peer Mentor will gain incredible communication skills.
The application to become an Academic\ Peer Mentor, along with recommendation letters, is due on March 10 on ChargerConnection. DiScanio encourages anyone interested in becoming more involved on campus to apply for the position and to reach out to their Academic Peer Mentors with any questions.