Student works on computer.The Peer Mentor Program partners seniors with first and second-year students to strengthen community among current students and smooth the transition for new students.

Mentees receive practical advice on classes, careers and life outside of school, while mentors practice leadership skills, reinforce their own subject knowledge and enjoy the satisfaction of helping fellow students.

The department also hosts volunteering and social events throughout the semester for students involved in the mentoring program.

The PMP is a precursor to the Alumni-Student Mentor Program, which matches sophomores, juniors and seniors with ChBE alumni.

Apply to be a Mentee Apply to be a Mentor

For mentees:

  • Gain valuable academic and career advice from a fellow student
  • Broaden your academic/professional network
  • Learn how someone previously in your shoes transitioned into academics at ChBE and life at CU
  • Gain additional insights and support beyond those of your faculty and classmates

For mentors:

  • Help a fellow student
  • Impart advice
    • Academic advice (classes, minors, certificates)
    • Career advice (research, internships, volunteering, student organizations)
    • Advice on life outside of school
  • Improve your communication and leadership skills
  • Enhance your resume
  • Reinforce your own subject knowledge and study skills

Mentor-mentee pairings will be maintained throughout the academic year (fall and spring semesters). Participants in the program will attend a 30-minute mentee/mentor expectations session and are expected to hold face-to-face meetings at least once per semester. Additional communications are encouraged, including by email, phone or in person.

The estimated monthly time commitment for mentors and mentees is 2 hours (roughly 30 minutes per week).

The department strongly encourages mentees to continue contact with mentors after graduation. Students can potentially remain paired through the Alumni-Student Mentor Program.

General guidance is provided below to participants on the expected level of commitment. However, we encourage mentors and mentees to be flexible and to share with each other and with the department their ideas for improving or getting the most out of the program.

  • Meet in person at least once a semester. The focus is on establishing face time between mentors and mentees.
  • Do not be afraid to reach out to your mentor with questions or concerns throughout the semester. However, have reasonable expectations on your mentor’s time and commitments. Please realize that your mentor is also in classes and be considerate of his or her time. Communication is important; you may considering saying something like, “I may have a lot of questions for you, especially when I’m studying or considering classes. Please let me know if I am taking up too much of your time or when might be convenient for you to meet.”
  • Answer your mentor partner’s emails or phone calls in a timely manner (1-2 days), even if it is only to say you are busy at the moment and will get back to them at length within a week or two.
  • Behave respectfully. For instance, turn your cell phone off during in-person meetings; agree on a method of communication (email, phone, text) and stick with that; and always agree on times to meet that are mutually workable and be flexible should something arise and your mentor need to cancel or postpone a meeting.

The advice mentors give to students will vary greatly, but below are some general topics mentors may wish to address.

  • Academic advice. Advise on class material and issues while upholding standards of academic integrity. Moreover, are there any certificates, minors or options you would recommend?
  • Class advice. Advise on the classes students will take, including lessons you learned from having certain faculty for your class (things they prefer or expect of students).
  • Career advice. How have you found internships or research opportunities? Would you recommend a student or volunteer group?
  • The transition from high school/previous school to CU. Whether students have started as first-time freshman or are transferring from another college or university, there are certain things that will be unique or interesting about CU. What have you found that is different about CU, and what can you share about how you have adapted?
  • The importance of service. Why do you feel giving back or volunteering is important?
  • Helpful advice you have received. Did certain advice help shape your academic career or life?

Conversation starters for mentees

  • Can you tell me about yourself and your current job?
  • What classes did you/do you most enjoy?
  • What classes did you/do you find most difficult and why?
  • What recommendations do you have for me to better prepare myself for these courses?
  • What would you like to know about me?
  • What campus resources have you found to be the most useful?
  • In what activities do you participate outside of school?
  • How did you manage the transition from high school/community college to CU Boulder?
  • Do you have any test-taking or studying strategies?
  • I’m interested in (certain classes or activities). Can you suggest any on campus groups that I might join?
  • How do you balance school and your personal life?
  • How do I best present myself in class and get involved in undergraduate research?
  • Do you have advice about classes, professors, places to live or activities on campus or around Boulder?

Conversation starters for mentors

  • Tell me about yourself and your background.
  • What would you like to know about me?
  • What are your questions for me?
  • What do you want to take away from this mentoring program?
  • What classes do you most enjoy?
  • What classes do you find most difficult?
  • In what activities are you involved/would you like to become involved?
  • In which fields are you interested and why? In which fields are you absolutely not interested and why?
  • What are your concerns for this semester?
  • What are your academic plans for next year? The year after? Do you have any questions I can answer to help you plan?
  • Do you have general questions about classes, professors, places to live or activities on campus or around Boulder?
  • Are you interested in graduate school and/or research?
  • Where do you see yourself after graduating from CU? What about five years after that?
  • Are you interested in any certificates/options/minors?
  • What extracurricular activities did you do in high school? Would you like to continue those here at CU?

Apply to be a Mentee Apply to be a Mentor

The PMP coordinator will match mentors with mentees in the first weeks of the fall semester based on shared interests and will send an introductory email. The PMP coordinator will then step back and let the mentor initiate the next contact.

The PMP coordinator will contact mentees throughout the semester to check in and solicit feedback. All participants will be invited to complete an annual survey to determine ways to improve the program.

Please contact the PMP Coordinator Alex Voorhees if you have any questions.