Peer Mentoring

Three students talking on campus

To create the socially supportive conditions necessary for success, CBS students will be integrated into various peer mentoring programs during their undergraduate careers. Student mentors will support their peers not only during the first year of college, but also throughout their four years in CBS.

The student mentors in the following programs are paid through the funding received by HHMI, receive leadership training throughout their time as a mentor, and benefit from an increased level of interaction with faculty and staff, contributing to their overall success as well.

Sophomore Guild Leaders

Sophomore Guild Leaders are second-year students who serve as mentors to first-year students in the Nature of Life courses, a required course series focused on transition support and community-building within CBS.  Sophomore Guild Leaders are matched with a group of ~15 first year students in their Guild, grading their written reflections, serving as consultants to their teams in a class project, and meeting individually with each student during fall and spring semester.  

Dean’s Scholars Peer Mentors

Peer Mentors play an essential role in the Dean’s Scholars leadership program by helping first-year Dean’s Scholars students transition to the University. Each Peer Mentor works with a small group of first-year Dean’s Scholars students during the academic year and assists with building community among first-year students, discussing concepts and ideas related to leadership, and promoting the importance of service and connection to the community.

Transfer Peer Guides

The college hires up to 10 CBS transfer students each fall as Transfer Peer Guides, who are embedded in BIOL 3001: The Nature of Science & Research, a required course for incoming students transferring from outside the U of M.

Transfer Peer Guides facilitate small group discussions with new transfer students in class, provide constructive feedback on assignments and reflections, and refer transfer students to college and university resources.

CBS Circle Guides

The college has hired 30 CBS juniors and seniors as CBS Circle Guides who facilitate CBS Circles. Three Circle Coordinators have also been hired to supervise the Circle Guides.

“Circles” are small groups of three to five students composed of juniors and seniors, meeting regularly throughout the semester to discuss specific topics of interest. The are 15 Catalyst Circles, six Curiosity Circles and five Community Circles as of Fall 2015.  

  • Catalyst Circles are for students who want to initiate change or action in themselves around a goal.
  • Curiosity Circles are for students who want to explore a topic in more depth with their peers.
  • Community Circles are for students who are interested in engaging in the community through volunteering with InSciEd Out (Integrated Science Education Outreach), a CBS program.