Peer Mentor Program

The Biology Major Mentor program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville matches freshman biology majors with upperclassmen in small peer mentor groups to help you schedule classes, build strong friendship with peers, gain professional skills, and be a part of a welcoming, collaborative learning environment.

Mentor groups typically meet four times during the first eight weeks of the semester and participate in social activities, professional and career development and academic opportunities.

For the duration of the academic year, the anticipated time commitment will be one-and-a-half hours per month; or two additional meetings in the fall and four meetings in the spring. Half of the activities are planned, and the other half of activities will be coordinated with mentors. These can include attending campus events and programs as a group or planning a separate activity.

Mentees will register for a specific section of the BioQuest course that incorporates the mentor program into the traditional class.

Benefits

Mentors

  • Develop leadership and communication skills.
  • Be a role model and positively impact new college students.
  • Earn a free meal at Steve’s Pizza each semester!

Mentees

  • Begin gathering essential professional skills.
  • Get answers from a reliable source during your first year of college.
  • Learn practical tips and effective study strategies.
  • Gain knowledge to effectively utilize Campus Resources.
  • Expand your understanding of the exciting opportunities available to Men and Women in the biological sciences.

Eligibility

Mentors

Mentors are students who have declared a biology or closely related major and meet the following requirements.

  • Obtained at least 60 credit hours (If you have less credits and are still interested, please contact us.)
  • Completed at least one year at UW-Platteville
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Commit for the entire academic year
  • Be willing to serve as a mentor for one to two freshman biology majors
  • Participate in mentor training about five to six hours typically one the Saturday after the first week of classes

Mentees

Mentees are first-year students at UW-Platteville who are majoring in biology. Incoming students who have selected biology as their major will receive an email with information on how to apply to the program. Incoming students can also apply directly online.

  • Declared a major in Biology
  • Register for a specific section of BioQuest
  • Commit to the program for the first year

Program Details

Expectations

Participants are expected to contribute one-and-a-half hours per month to the mentor program through small group meetings. In addition, during the first eight weeks of classes, mentors are encouraged to visit the classroom to discuss their research, job shadowing or outside the classroom experience as well as helping their mentee(s) set concrete goals for the academic year. Mentees will be expected to develop goals for the academic year which will be incorporated into the BioQuest course and commit to the program for the academic year. The time commitment beyond BioQuest will be small compared to the huge benefit of the program.

Matching

Based on the information provided in the application, each first-year student is matched with an upper-level student with regard to career and personal interests.

Teams

Mentors and mentees will be put into a small team. The small group gives mentees a chance to meet other first-year students and provides support to the mentors.

Social activities and workshops

In addition to the one meeting per month, participants are required to attend the meet-and-greet event held in the evening during the second week of classes.

Small group meeting

Mentors and mentees are expected to meet at least once per month during the academic year for about one-and-a-half hours. These activities are organized by the mentor/mentee team and can include social activities, academic opportunities, career and professional development and/or attending events and programs on campus. A list of ideas will be provided to each small group.

Cost

Mentors volunteer their time. There is no cost to participate.

Outcomes

You’ll gain information and social support from your mentor as well as having someone to talk to who has been through the same the first-year transition.

Apply

As a mentor

Complete and submit this online form. Registration begins in March and runs through the end of spring semester. Program administrators will contact you to schedule a brief “interview” if you are selected. Once we receive a confirmation, we’ll begin matching you to one or two mentees. At mentor training, you’ll be provided your mentee’s or mentees’ information to begin communication. (Repetitive information deleted.)

As a mentee

Complete and submit this online form. Registration begins in April and runs through the Friday before classes start. Please register early as once the class is full, we will no longer be able to accept additional mentees. During summer registration, your academic advisor will help you enroll in a Peer Mentoring BioQuest section. Program administrators will then match you with a mentor. (Repetitive information deleted.)