Document Type

Other

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

5.1 PSYCHOLOGY, 5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, 6. HUMANITIES

Publication Details

Presentation at the European First Year Experience Conference, June 2015, Bergen, Norway.

Abstract

The transition from secondary level learning to independent study can be difficult to negotiate and many students also experience emotional pressures as they adjust to a busy social environment at college (McAleavy, Collins and Adamson 2004 ; O’Reilly 2008). Many third level institutions are exploring ways to improve the first year experience and one such approach that has gained increasing interest in recent years is the provision of peer mentoring. This paper outlines and evaluates a pilot peer mentoring programme that was conducted with first year business students (n = 112) from three separate courses at a third level institution in Dublin, Ireland. Three first year groups were chosen for participation in this study due to on-going low levels of engagement and high levels of attrition. A novel 360o approach was formulated, whereby students where provided support by mentors, lecturers and support staff. In order to measure the efficacy of the programme, feedback was elicited from participants and key academic variables (GPA and attrition rate) for participants and a matched sample that did not receive coaching were also compared. Results revealed that GPA increased significantly for one of the three student groups involved and that the attrition rate decreased significantly for one of the three groups.

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