Reference List Entry:

Colvin, Janet W., and Marinda Ashman. 2010. "Roles, Risks, and Benefits of Peer Mentoring Relationships in Higher Education." Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning 18 (2): 121-34.

About this Journal Article:

This article examined a “mentor leadership program under the premise of students helping students.” (122) Interviews were conducted of 40 participants which included current mentors (n = 12), new mentors (n = 8), instructors (n = 10) and students in class (n = 10). From the interviews, three themes emerged: 1) roles, 2) benefits and risks, and 3) power and resistance. For roles, five specific roles were identified: 1) connecting link; 2) peer leader; 3) learning coach; 4) student advocate; and 5) trusted friend. Three benefits were identified: 1) being able to support students; 2) reapplying concepts in their own lives; and 3) developing connections. There were some gender differences a swell with women seeing benefits in relationships and men in academics. Some of the risks and challenges of mentoring included: balancing mentor role with time and other commitments, making themselves vulnerable to students, getting emotionally attached to students and having to “let go” at the end of semester. There were a few issues of power and resistance, but fewer than the benefits recognized. The issue of resistance resonated around amount of time and pestering from the mentors.

Annotation by Eric Hall