P2P mentors support new students and help them settle into college life by sharing important information with them about institute supports and services.
The P2P Mentor Awards 2022 were held recently to recognise the efforts of 134 students in helping almost 700 new first year students, one third of freshers, adjust to college life.
This year, 134 students volunteered their time as part of the 2021/2022 P2P programme – Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) peer mentoring programme.
On Tuesday 29th March, all the P2P Mentors were recognised for their contribution to the WIT community, supporting new first year students who began in September.
The aim of the P2P programme is to support incoming students transition to third level by providing them with access to a trained mentor, a student from Year 2 and above from the same course or department, who acts as a form of social support throughout the academic year.
The efforts of an additional 10 students from third and fourth year of the BSc (Hons) Public Health & Health Promotion were also recognised on the evening. These students supported second years as they transitioned to the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, after starting Year 1 in the Department of Nursing as part of the Health Science (Common Entry) course.
The programme is student-centred, as it is developed and led by the students involved from each course. These students volunteer their own time throughout the academic year to support new students settle into college life and share important information with them about institute supports and services.
The event was opened by Prof Willie Donnelly, President of WIT. Prof Donnelly thanked the mentors for all their hard work and spoke about the difference these students make to the lives of first year students.
Dr Laura Keane, Head of Student Life and Learning, also thanked all the mentors for their help in supporting first year students, stating:
“It is important that you know and realise the impact that you have, and how you help develop a sense of community and belonging. It is important that we acknowledge your great contribution by being mentors in P2P. Your involvement and input matters and makes an impact. Without you, there would be no peer mentoring programme. First year students value and benefit from your support, friendship, experience and time.”
This year there were 26 Senior Mentors on the programme. These students were returning mentors who chose to participate in an accredited Special Purpose Award in Peer Mentoring. They received special recognition on the evening for the additional contribution they had made.
Lecturers Marie O’Dwyer (Department of Management & Organisation), Mairead Barry (Department of Sport & Exercise Science), Geraldine Cleere (Department of Law & Criminal Justice Studies), Michael Tobin (Department of Arts) and Maria Cahill (Department of Computing and Maths) led the Special Purpose Award. They worked closely with the Senior Mentors and spoke very highly of the students involved.
The mentors were thanked by each of their academic leads, and were then presented with a certificate and plaque by Prof Donnelly.
Sights set on 2022 recruitment
The P2P programme is coordinated by the Student Life and Learning Department, and this year was led by Eimear Breathnach, Imelda Morrissey and Cillian Hayward who are part of the Retention and Engagement team, alongside the academic staff from each programme involved.
The P2P programme is currently recruiting new mentors for the 2022/23 academic year. Any student who is interested can find further information at www.wit.ie/p2p.
A list of courses which will offer peer mentoring in 2022/23 can be found below:
• WD048 GEN Bachelor of Business (Hons)
• WD084 BA (Hons) in Accounting
• WD001 GEN Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Applied Computing (Common Entry)
• WD161 BSc (Hons) in Computer Forensics and Security
• WD151 BSc in Software Systems Development
• WD210 BSc (Hons) in Software Systems Development
• WD153 BSc in Multimedia Applications Development
• WD211 BSc (Hons) in Creative Computing
• WD155 BSc in Information Technology
• WD205 BSc in Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science
• WD187 BA (Hons) in Social Science
• WD150 BA (Hons) in Criminal Justice Studies
• WD200 Bachelor of Arts (Hons)
• WD006 GEN BSc (Hons) in Exercise Sciences (Common Entry)
• WD019 Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Sport Management
• WD212 Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Recreation and Sport Management
• WD186 BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching and Performance
• WD005 HPP – BSc (Hons) Public Health & Health Promotion (for Year 2 students)
• WD007 GEN Bachelor of Engineering (Common Entry)
• WD230 BEng (Hons) in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering