Peer Mentor Program Information

CFAES Peer Mentor Program - Overview


Purpose: As a peer mentor, you will help support incoming students as they begin their time at The Ohio State University and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. You will mentor the students on how to navigate the University resources and places, help to strengthen their connection to faculty, staff, and other students, introduce them to co-curricular activities, serve as a role model, and give advice when needed.  You serve as one of the student's first connections to the University and help them navigate their first semester. 


Groups: When serving as a peer mentor, you will have the opportunity to be involved with students who are in one of the following groups: students beginning their freshmen year, transfer students who are coming from other institutions, students transitioning from another OSU campus and/or college, and students who wish to pursue the honors program. You will be able to indicate your preference on the application for which group you'd like to be involved in.

From here, you will be given 4-5 mentees to work with over the autumn semester. You will check in with them weekly, help them navigate the campus, class scheduling, developing yearly plans, etc., but most of all you will be their first peer contact at OSU and someone they will look to for guidance.

Application and Interview: All decisions have been made for the upcoming year. 

Training: As a peer mentor, you will have the opportunity to get to know your fellow mentors through trainings that take place in the spring (community building retreat, leadership training workshop, and autumn preparation meeting). Resources will be given to you that include a book and resource guide, which you will reference during your time as a peer mentor.

Optional: We have student focus groups for each rank in the College. Each semester we like to meet with the focus groups to talk about academic experiences, co-curricular opportunities, and general life of campus. As a peer mentor you have the opportunity to serve as a focus group facilitator. To do this you only need to complete a short 1/2 hour training on group facilitation.

Class: Peer mentors, who are at full-time status on credit hours, will be asked to enroll in a 1 credit hour/1 day a week Peer Mentor Leadership class. In a classroom/seminar setting, you will develop skills in leadership, student development, academic development, and community building while engaging constructively with aspects of identity and how identity shapes perspective. Peer mentors will learn how to teach fellow students about the opportunities at Ohio State, where to find resources on policies and procedures, and how to help them transition to college. To view the syllabus, click here.

Learning goals: 1.) Understand practical skills to be a successful mentor, 2.) Know how leadership plays a role in mentoring, and 3.) Become aware of what identity is, its importance, and how to engage with other identities.

Student responsibilities: graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. In-class activities and participation in discussion during class. Weekly self-reflections due each Monday about previous week. First year peer mentors: complete 2-3 page peer mentor philosophy. Second year peer mentors: facilitate at least 1 first-year peer mentor session.

Table indicates what topic is covered each week. Blue: mandatory classes, green: mandatory for only 1st year peer mentors, red: mandatory for only 2nd year peer mentors.

Autumn time commitment: Peer mentors will be asked to, at a minimum, do the following during autumn 2018:

  • Make contact with your mentees prior to the start of autumn semester.

  • Bring mentees to pre-convocation events at 4-H Center.

  • Attend welcome week events with mentees.

  • Assist mentees in finding resources, places, advisors, etc.

  • Attend FAES 1100 recitation class each week with mentees and help instructors with presentations, as needed.

  • Submit weekly check-ins on mentees.

  • Organize small social gatherings with mentee group.

  • Attend November recognition dinner.

FAES 1100 Survey Class Schedule: Peer mentors will be required to attend one FAES 1100 recitation (the one they are assigned to with their mentees) for the first 7 weeks of autumn.


Lecture (L) or Recitation (R)

Title, Presenters


August 20, 2018

L, 4-H Center


Krista Scott, Sarah Williams, Peer Mentors

  • Attend pre-convocation activities at 4-H Center; set semester goals

August 22 or 24, 2018

R, Unit building (check Carmen)

Unit introductions

  • Meet with unit representatives to learn about the program, space, resources, etc.

August 27, 2018


Kottman 103

Transition and Goal Setting: Students will consider the challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning to college.

Krista Scott, Sarah Williams

  • The W-Curve
  • Academic challenges/concerns



August 29 or 31, 2018


Animal Science 210 OR Ag Admin 108

Charting Your Academic Journey: Students will review the degree audit system in order to build 1st year plan and consider a long-term academic plan.

Ben Carignan, Paul Heimberger, Peer Mentors

  • Degree audit overview
  • Degree audit group activity/challenge
  • The power of the elective
  • Thinking globally about your experience

September 3, 2018

No class

Labor Day


September 5 or 7, 2018


Animal Science 210 OR Ag Admin 108

Personal Learning Style: Students will consider their personal learning/leadership style.

Krista Scott, Sarah Williams, Peer Mentors


  • MBTI/Strengths
  • Cultural/individual comparisons (how could my strengths make working with someone with complementary/competing strengths more challenging)
  • Group strengths mapping based on case study

September 10, 2018


Kottman 103

Diversity + Social Awareness: Students will consider their individual identity and varying perspectives based on lived experiences.

Pamela Thomas

  • Unconscious Bias
  • Respect, civility, engaging with others
  • Diversity vs Justice
  • Privilege beads
  • “Calling In: Strategies for Cultivating Humility and Critical Thinking in Antiracism Education”

September 12 or 14, 2018


Animal Science 210 OR Ag Admin 108

Diversity + Social Awareness: continued

Krista Scott, Sarah Williams, Peer Mentors

  • Identity Forced Choice exercise

September 17, 2018


Kottman 103

Health, Wellness, and Safety: Students will consider the 9 dimensions of wellness and the health/wellness of the people around them.

Student Wellness Center

  • Bystander intervention/strategies
  • Alcohol/drug education consent

September 19 or 21, 2018


Animal Science 210 OR Ag Admin 108

Critical and Ethical Thinking: Students will learn about institutional conduct policies while considering how cultural/ethnic/community background influence perspective.

Krista Scott, Sarah Williams, Peer Mentors

  • The Alligator example
  • Discuss how time management (or lack of time) may influence student’s conduct choices/time planning activity

September 24, 2018


Kottman 103

Global Conversations: Students will consider cultural intelligence and high-impact activities that can help develop cultural awareness/knowledge.

Kelly Newlon, Defei Shen

  • Education Abroad/Global Option overview
  • Facilitated activity/experience around Cultural Intelligence

September 26 or 28, 2018


Animal Science 210 OR Ag Admin 108

Global Conversations: continued

Krista Scott, Sarah Williams, Peer Mentors

  • Cultural Values inventory
  • Implicit Bias overview focused on cultural/ethnic difference

October 1, 2018


Kottman 103

Finances: Students will consider short and long term budgeting and ways to reduce loans (scholarship).

Pat Whittington

  • Merit scholarship overview
  • Benefits/insurance discussion


October 3 or 5, 2018


Animal Science 210 OR Ag Admin 108

Scarlet and Gray Financial presentation; Dennis Learning Center: Academic Coaching option.

Krista Scott, Sarah Williams, Peer Mentors

  • Short term budgeting (semester)
  • Long term budgeting

October 8, 2018


Kottman 103

Class wrap-up: bringing it all together, preparing for next semester; Final presentations due – present in class.

  • Review of lessons learned
  • Buckeyelink help
  • Peer mentor groups present (randomly selected) on opportunities at OSU. 5-minute presentation in class or prepared video to show in class. Cannot be a student club/organization.


October 15, 2018


Second 7 weeks with your major unit. Check your schedules!