Date of Award

5-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

College Student Personnel

Major Professor

J. Patrick Biddix

Committee Members

Ruth Darling, Karen Boyd

Abstract

Peer mentoring programs are a popular means of supporting students in transition in higher education. The success of these programs is based on the students who decide to become peer mentors. Further, institutions often have a variety of peer mentoring programs on their campuses that create varying experiences. The intent on this study was to identify best practices for recruiting peer mentors. The study utilized a quantitative instrument designed to reflect what previous literature suggested had been the positive outcomes of peer mentoring. A total of 110 student leaders at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville participated in the study, representing 11 peer mentoring roles. Levels of influence were measured for 13 different factors hypothesized to affect a student’s decision to become a peer mentor. The results of the study suggested that the factors: helping fellow students, enhance leadership skills, and improve communication skills were most influential to college students choosing to become peer mentors. Additionally, it was found that different peer mentoring roles are influenced by factors at varying levels. Recommendations are provided to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of peer mentor recruitment campaigns. Recommendations include: creating a common marketing strategy for recruiting peer mentors at individual institutions, adjusting marketing strategies to recruit diverse peer mentors, intentionally recruiting to students who are mentees within a peer mentoring program, and developing a common recruitment timeline amongst peer mentoring roles at individual institutions.

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