The research has linked mentoring in higher education to greater academic and social success. And not only do mentored students benefit, but students mentors themselves report personal and professional development, a sense of achievement and a feeling that they were building a strong school identity, sense of belonging, community and connection for those involved in the mentoring program.1
Peer mentors “substantially increased college enrollment among students who had less academic-year access to quality college counseling or information”
Important as well, mentoring programs provide financial benefits to universities by reducing rates of attrition.1 In fact, The Journal of College Student Retention published a study that found that students with mentors “consistently have higher levels of institutional commitment, satisfaction with faculty, academic integration, cultural affinity, and encouragement.”2
Universities and colleges have an obligation to ensure that the most vulnerable students attend and succeed at their institutions. The research shows that mentoring helps institutions of higher learning accomplish this task. One study found that peer mentors “substantially increased college enrollment among students who had less academic-year access to quality college counseling or information” in high school3. Another study confirmed the impact of mentoring on academic and social success in underrepresented groups on campus1.
1Elliott, J. S., Beltman, S., & Lynch, E. (2011, July). If you make a difference, you have changed someone’s life”: Outcomes from a university student mentor program. In First Year in Higher Education Conference held in Fremantle.
2 Torres, V., & Hernandez, E. (2009). Influence of an identified advisor/mentor on urban Latino students’ college experience. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 11(1), 141-160.
3 Castleman, B. L., & Page, L. C. (2015). Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates?. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 115, 144-160.
4 Campos, C. M. T., Phinney, J. S., Perez-Brena, N., Kim, C., Ornelas, B., Nemanim, L., … & Ramirez, C. (2008). A mentor-based targeted intervention for high-risk Latino college freshmen: A pilot study. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education.