Letter to the Editor: Peer Mentor Selection

In last week’s issue, Julia Campbell accurately describes the role of a peer mentor as one “meant to guide freshman through their first year away from home.”

As the title of the position indicates, it is an exciting opportunity to help incoming firstyears with their transition into college, and to serve as a mentor to first-year students. This job, therefore, comes with responsibility.

The Explorations team encourages those interested in becoming peer mentors to apply so that the team can find those both excited and most qualified for the position; peer mentoring recruitment has always been a selective and competitive process.

We look for students who can think on their feet, work in groups and communicate and cooperate with their professors, mentees, and co-peer mentors. Our recruitment process keeps these qualities in mind.

Upon getting applications, Explorations invites candidates in for group interviews, where they get to formulate answers and respond to one another working as a group, just like peer mentors will have to do. It allows the interviewers to see which applicants interact and communicate best with others; a much needed quality for peer mentors.

At this stage, students have the chance to list their preferences for professors and RCC (Rollins College Conference) classes. RCC professors then have the opportunity to select and offer their preferences. After all, professors also play a large role in the RCC program, so it is essential that they are paired with peer mentors whom they trust and will work with as team.

Oftentimes RCC professors will encourage certain students to apply for a peer mentoring position because they know that they could work well with those students. And so while some student-professor matches naturally align, professors who are left with open positions then have interviews with the remaining applicants.

This year we had record breaking numbers with over 130 applicants and we could not be happier! It is a rigorous and extensive process, so we would also like to congratulate all new peer mentors who made it through the final round. Welcome to the team!

If you are interested in more information about Explorations, visit rollins.edu/explorations.

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