Once you enrol in college, rest assured that we'll be there to provide support and assistance to help you ease into your new academic environment. We offer various services that are designed to facilitate your transition into college life.
During First Year Orientation, peer mentors serve as essential figures by creating a welcoming atmosphere where first-year students can interact with their peers, socialise, and receive informal support in a secure environment.
As someone who was once a first-year student, you are in a unique position to assist others. Your role as a mentor will begin in late August or early September, where you will provide support, guidance, advice, and practical tips to first-year students throughout their first year.
Since you may be the first point of contact for the first-year student, it's crucial that you approach your mentorship role with a sense of responsibility. Your contributions can have a significant impact on their college experience, so it's important to take your role seriously.
The mentoring process will encompass the following
- Peer Mentoring
- Introductory sessions to become acquainted with each other
- Icebreakers to foster rapport
- Directing students to available support services
- Emphasising the advantages of engaging in clubs, societies, and volunteer work.
How does Peer Mentoring work?
A trained student, known as a mentor, will help their mentee navigate the transition into college and enrich their learning and experience of student life. Mentors are paired with another mentor who can provide guidance and advice on daily college life, acting as a source of social support. The mentoring relationship is mutually beneficial for both parties, and mentors meet with their mentees throughout the academic year via email, meetings, or face-to-face contact whenever possible.
The mentor shares their knowledge and experiences, and the mentee can discuss any sensitive or awkward topics with their mentor that they may be uncomfortable discussing with their lecturers, friends, or family. Additionally, the mentor provides advice on joining groups and societies.
Apply to become a Peer Mentor – training provided
If you believe you can make a difference, you can apply to become a peer mentor. The application process will begin in late March. Before you start your role, you will receive detailed training and support from Student Services and Sports departments, and technical support will be available to help you set up online meetups. Throughout the academic year, you will also have ongoing contact with the Peer Support Officer.
Being a peer mentor will not interfere with your studies, as we only require a commitment of 5 hours in the first term and 3 hours in the second term (excluding training). By becoming a peer mentor, you will have the opportunity to develop graduate attributes and increase your employability skills. Additionally, you can apply for SETU Carlow's President's Volunteer Award.
You will actively participate in the feedback process, and your views will be taken into account in future planning. Please note that Garda Vetting will be required.
First Year FAQs
- What support can I go to my Mentor for?
- Your Mentor is there to provide guidance and signposting when you need it. They should be someone you can trust to direct you to a useful service, or answer any general questions you have about the College, Students' Union or Clubs & Societies. If you are unsure about where to go or what service to use, your Peer Mentor will be able to point you in the right direction.
- I am not sure where to go and need further support, who can help me?
- College can be stressful and difficult, and it’s important to know where to turn if you require support. You can find information regarding the available support.
- How do I know who my Peer Mentor is?
- Your Peer Mentor should have already introduced themselves via email. If you have any questions, you can also ask them at the peer mentoring induction event at the beginning of the year. In the event that you haven't heard from your mentor in some time or you have not been contacted at all, please don't hesitate to contact the peer mentoring team at Peersupport.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be able to inform you of your mentor's identity and provide you with instructions on how to contact them.
- Can I ask my Mentor to meet me?
- We encourage both mentors and mentees to reach out and arrange to meet up, as it helps create a supportive and positive environment.
- Do I have to contact my Mentor?
- It is up to you how much you engage with your Mentor, they are there to support you if you need it, but you have no obligation to reach out to them otherwise. We recommend you attend the peer mentoring induction event at the start of the year, so you understand what the scheme is about.
For more information on how to apply, contact Peersupport.email@example.com
3Set is a collaborative strategy consisting of three work packages designed to address the increasing demand for mental health supports in Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The strategy aims to increase student retention and engagement by gaining meaningful data on support needs, collating and developing shared resources for counselling service providers and developing a peer-led transition programme for students.