PEER – First-Year Mentoring

Overview

The PEER mentoring program is a collaborative project between APASS and the USC Student Counseling Services. Since 1994, PEER matches first-year APIDA students (freshmen, transfers, and spring admits) with continuing APIDA students in a unique mentoring relationship focused on transition, success, and growth.

Mentors and mentees are hand-matched using a number of criteria, such as academic, extracurricular, and personal interests. The PEER community meets throughout the fall and spring semesters for various events, including informative, skill-building workshops and fun, community-building socials.

Program Details

PEER is a two-semester program – participants must commit to the program for the entire academic year. Interested mentors and mentees should also understand that the mentoring relationship is a two-way street, requiring open communication and engagement from both sides. The requirements for mentors and mentees are outlined below, for each semester in PEER:

Mentor Requirements:

  • Attend Supervisions (biweekly professional development trainings) with the Graduate Assistant
  • Attend Community Workshops and Socials
  • Be responsive and engaged with their mentee(s), checking in at least biweekly

Mentee Requirements:

  • Attend Community Workshops and Socials
  • Be responsive and engaged with their mentor, checking in at least biweekly

Left Image: Students hold up their boba drinks during an off-campus trip. Right Image: PEER participants pose for a group photo during PEER Retreat. 

Application

Ideal mentors are those willing to give back to the APIDA community. All first-year students (freshmen & transfers) are invited to become a mentee. There are two application cycles for PEER: Fall and Spring.

Fall Cycle

  • Application period: early to mid August
  • Mentors and mentees who apply in the Fall cycle are committing to the program for the entire academic year
  • For mentees: Fall cycle prioritizes Fall Admit first-year students

Spring Cycle

  • Application period: mid to late January
  • Mentors and mentees who apply in the Spring cycle are committing to the program for the Spring semester
  • For mentees: while Fall Admit first-year students are welcome to apply in the Spring cycle, priority matches will be given to Spring Admits

Application

The application to become a PEER Mentor and Mentee have closed for Fall 2021. Recruitment for new mentors and mentees will open for Spring Admits in January 2022. 

For questions, contact PEER Graduate Assistant, Brandon Lim, and/or PEER Program Assistant, Taylor Kamameto, at uscpeer@usc.edu

Upcoming Dates

After submitting an application, mentor candidates will receive an email inviting you to sign up for an interview time slot. Interviews are casual dress and will last approximately 10-15 minutes. Prospective mentors and mentees are invited to Pre-Match Mixer Night, an event where you get the chance to seek a potential match through a friendly and fun facilitated networking opportunity. Applicants who are matched in the PEER program must participate in the following events, scheduled in the early part of each semester:

Mentor Training: covers responsibilities and expectations for being a mentor (mentors only)

Match Night: reveals mentor-mentee matches and folks connect for the first time (mentors and mentees)

Contact Information

For more information, contact uscpeer@usc.edu.

Why PEER?

Through PEER, we hope that participants 1) learn how being an APIDA student affects the first-year experience and how to utilize campus resources; 2) find community within the program and discuss issues pertinent to transitioning to college; and 3) take what they learned to make informed decisions for their academic, professional, and personal lives. By participating in PEER, mentors and mentees can expect to:

Mentors:

  • Gain mentorship and leadership experience supporting new students in their transition to USC
  • Build professional development skills through Supervisions and Community Workshops
  • Join a fun and supportive community of peers

Mentees: 

  • Develop a relationship with a continuing student at USC
  • Receive guidance from upperclassmen and guest speakers about academics, career, and USC life
  • Meet other new students in a fun and supportive space

Testimonials