The Virtual P2P Mentor Awards 2021 recognised efforts of 105 students in helping 600 new first years adjust to college life
This year, 105 student mentors volunteered their time as part of the 2020/2021 P2P programme – Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) peer mentoring programme. On Wednesday 24 February, all the P2P Mentors were recognised for their contribution to the WIT community, supporting new first year students in their course with their transition to third level college.
The aim of the P2P Programme is to support the transition of new first year students into third level education by providing them with access to a trained mentor, an older year student from their course, who acts as a form of social support throughout the academic year.
As it is developed and led by the students in each programme it is a very much a student led, student centred programme. Students volunteer their own time throughout the semester to support new students into WIT and to disseminate important information of college life and processes.
The event was opened by Eimear Breathnach, Student Transitions and Peer Support Administrator, who worked with the mentors throughout the year. The academic leads from each department said a few words also, thanking the mentors for all their hard work and the certificates were then virtually presented to each student for recognition of their contribution to the programme.
Laura Keane, Head of Student Life and Learning, then said thanks to all the mentors for their help in supporting the first year transition Keane spoke of the difference these students make to the lives of first year students acknowledging the added challenged this year presented:
“'Settling in to college involves an adjustment to a new environment and meeting new people, which some may find challenging or difficult and this year, the adjustment was more challenging than ever. It is a time when new students really appreciate a friendly face and fellow student taking an interest, answering their queries and pointing them in the right direction. This year we had 105 mentors supporting over 600 first year. We believe that P2P is successful because it is led by students for students and helps to create a sense of community and belonging for new students. We hope to continue our success and further expand the P2P programme.”
Among the 105 mentors were 28 Senior Mentors. These were returning mentors who chose to participate in an accredited Special Purpose Award in Peer Mentoring and they all received special recognition at the awards.
Lecturer Mairead Barry from the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Geraldine Cleere, Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Criminal Justice Studies, Michael Tobin, Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Social Science and Marie O’Dwyer and Corinne Power O’ Mahony, lecturers in the School of Business, were the lecturers who led this Special Purpose Award spoke very highly of the 28 students who participated.
P2P is coordinated under Student Life and Learning and this year has been led by staff in Retention and Engagement team – Katie Dillon Keane, Eimear Breathnach, Nicole Jordan and Imelda Morrissey, in conjunction with academic staff from the specific programmes it is running in.
Sights set on 2022 recruitment
The focus on P2P for semester two is recruiting new mentors for the 2021/2022 academic year to help and support next year’s new students and explore the potential to develop and expand even more.
105 mentors participated in the 2020/21 P2P programme from the Department of Sport and Exercise Science undergraduate courses, from the BA (Hons) Criminal Justice, the Bachelor of Business Honors the BA (Hons) Social Science and from programmes across the School of Computing and Maths. Currently this semester, developmental work is being carried out to further expand P2P into new programmes.
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Science
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminal Justice Studies
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sports Coaching & Performance
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Recreation & Sport Management
- Bachelor of Business in Recreation & Sport Management
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business (Common Entry)
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business Information Systems
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business (Accounting)
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business (Economics & Finance)
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business (Human Resource Management)
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business (Management)
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business (Marketing)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science (Common Entry)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science (Automotive & Automation Systems)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science (Cloud & Networks)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science (Computer Forensics & Security)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science (Games Development)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Science (Internet of Things)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Applied Computing (Media Development)
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computer Forensics and Security
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Creative Computing
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Software Systems Development
- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science
- Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science