By: Roman Jones – September 12, 2016
One of the characteristics that sets Rocky Mountain College apart from other private institutions is the fact that it prides itself on trying new things and giving students various tools to succeed. One of the latest means by which the LEAP Department is reaching out specifically to incoming students is a new peer-mentoring program called Rocky Connections.
Peer mentoring is something that regularly gets overlooked, but its impact can be essential to how incoming students connect on campus. Every first-year student goes through a transition phase. College is a new experience that can seem daunting, especially to students from out of state who find themselves in a place that may initially be foreign to them. Naturally, students look for ways to connect and peer mentoring is an effective way to facilitate the formation of various connections on campus. Rocky Connections aims to do this.
The program is overseen by Steve Peterman, the Director of LEAP, who explains the purpose of the program is to, “connect first-year students to Rocky to make Rocky theirs.”
The goal of the program is to establish peer- to-peer connections through mentor-mentee relationships for the purpose of helping new students be successful academically and socially. There are a total of 21 mentors. Every first-year student has been assigned a mentor. Mentors are there to help incoming students get comfortable with the campus, to answer questions, and to share their own experiences with their mentees.
Mentors will also encourage their mentees to get involved on campus. New students often do not realize the importance of getting involved in and out of the classroom. Having access to encouragement from another student can make all the difference and enhance a new student’s college experience. If Rocky Connections can do that for incoming students, it will have fulfilled its purpose.