This semester we’re trying something new in REL — we’ve developed a peer mentoring program whereby a small number of students who excelled last semester in a 100-level course are being invited to stay involved in the same course this semester, as a peer mentor.
For we tend to think that studying by yourself, especially when you find the course challenging, isn’t the most effective strategy.
The program is voluntary and will begin only with two sections of REL 100 and REL 102, but our hope is that it succeeds and, in future semesters, extends to all lower-level Core courses.
Our undergraduate peer mentors will be able to offer other students practical tips on how to do well in the course, based on their own recent experience in the same class — such things as study habits, note taking, class prep, etc. They’ll also run period workshops and be a resource for students to contact.
Given that REL classes are more ambitious than just learning the names of rivers and the dates of assorted events, first time students sometimes need to adjust their approach to our intro classes, to eventually see that learning the so-called facts is not the only important thing taking place in the course. Students from the previous semester — whether REL majors or not — who figured this out, and then adapted their approach to the material, are therefore a great resource and we’re hoping that they can assist current students.
The program is experimental at this point and Dr. Touna is its coordinator. We’ll keep you posted on how it goes.