QMSS Peer Mentoring has four aims:
1) To engender and support a culture of questions. Students often self-select out of quantitative classes when they perceive or feel they are not progressing as fast as others during lectures or labs or when they come across problems they fear bringing up to a professor or GSI. Peer Mentoring aims to keep the threshold for asking for help as low as possible and to project an openness that encourages inquiries. This will support efforts that aim to lead every student to mastery.
2) To solidify students' knowledge. An often heard complaint is that students have statistical training from other courses and programs, even good grades, but do not know how to apply their knowledge when faced with actual research problems in a thesis seminar or a research lab. Peer Mentoring is multidirectional in that even a third or fourth year student can come back with a question to Peer Mentors about regression or survey methodology that they were introduced to in the first year. Our Peer Mentors are not formal tutors, but they can help to connect students with QMSS faculty and other resources to get the best answers.
3) To offer a safe environment to experiment with openness, leadership, inquisiteveness, and relational problem solving. When students go out onto the job market, their teamwork skills will be important. QMSS Peer Mentors work to bridge the gap between undergraduate students, faculty, and staff so that we can all work better together towards a common goal of student success.
4) To build community. Peer Mentors will incorporate the program’s objective to “Meet students where they R[/are]” by having students take a leadership role in determining QMSS programming. It will provide opportunities for Peer Mentors to use the skills they are learning in QMSS classes to collect and analyze data to evaluate the reach and effectiveness of our program on campus.