Over the past several years, Glendon’s peer mentorship program has grown to become a key opportunity for connection between new Glendonites with strong upper-year students to acquaint them with the curricula, classrooms, and the campus as a whole.
This fall, it’s breaking new ground.
During GO-Day, Glendon’s academic orientation day, the incoming class met with their peer mentors to learn more about campus life, academic demands, and the mentor’s Glendon experience, but that’s not all: they also participated in a new interactive workshop specially designed to help map out individual plans for success.
The core elements of this program are based on academic research by psychologist Alf Lizzio that demonstrates the importance of strengthening students’ sense of purpose, which is the key motivational factor for academic and career self-regulation. To that end, the student affairs team has developed 5 goal categories—based on the seven dimensions of wellness—which also link to student success.
Five areas for success: the GL5
The workshop taught participants how to distill broad goals into 5 main areas:
- Social & Cultural;
- Career & Academic;
- Emotional & Spiritual;
- Physical; and
Throughout the year, the students and mentors each keep a copy of their goals—officially known as the GL5—to assist with progress tracking, encouragement, and support.
A number of new activities will be offered by the Lion’s Den to increase awareness of the resources available to Glendonites. The program, which is open to all Glendonites, empowers participants to set their intentions for student life, productivity, motivation, and resourcefulness throughout the year. This is achieved primarily through a series of activities designed to identify resources to reach their goals, share them with peers, create an action plan, and stay motivated.
“I think this program is exciting for three main reasons. First, it’s not just about setting intentions: it’s about achieving goals through built-in social and co-curricular support. Second, it fits within a larger context, outside of the traditional classroom curriculum. For example, during GO-Day, we also teach students about grit and the growth mindset, which will equip them with the tools to work towards their goals. Thirdly, the program is embedded into our orientation program, but it’s open to all students throughout the year.”
– David Ip Yam, Director, Student Affairs
How it works
Students identify their goals with their peer mentor, who is specially trained to host mentoring conversations, understand conceptual models of personal change, and to connect Glendonites with key resources. Students become more resourceful, connected, capable, and ultimately develop their sense of purpose, which—according to research—has a close relation with student resilience and success.
“This program allows us to learn more about our students’ needs and interests, which will help us to improve our first year programming moving forward. The lessons we learn will be valuable when creating customized training to equip peer mentors with better support for incoming students.”
– Amanda Sartori, Student Life Coordinator
At the end of the academic year, students who have reached their goals will be recognized at the student engagement awards ceremony.
Interested in getting involved with the peer mentorship program, either as a mentor or mentee? Contact the program at email@example.com.