Lehigh University students initiated the Peer Mentor Program in fall semester 1998 to assist first-year students with the transition from high school to a competitive university. The Peer Mentors are composed of upper class students who have a diagnosed disabilities and who have demonstrated leadership capability and proven academic success at Lehigh University.
First-year students are matched with a peer mentor by college and/or major. The rationale for matching students in this manner is because upper class students of the same major and/or college have most likely taken the same courses, the same professors, and have experienced the same challenges as the freshman with whom they have been matched. The first-year students who have participated in the Peer Mentor program and who have worked with the Office of Disability Support Services have traditionally performed significantly better than students who have not participated in support services.
Program participation is voluntary and students may choose to withdraw from the program at any time. The Peer Mentor Program is student led, and each year the peer mentors decide and lead the year's activities. The following group activities are just a few of the past events for the first-year students:
- Academic Support for Students with Learning Differences
- Meet The Mentors Dinner
- Young Alumni Panel “Life After Lehigh”
- Dinner and Debate: “To Pledge or Not To Pledge”
- Pre-registration Dinner (Fall and Spring)
- Peer Mentor Fall Retreat
- Resume/Cover Letter Workshop
- Diversity Meet and Greet Employer Panel
- Peer Mentor Senior Dinner
- Faculty Universal Design Award Luncheon
- Peer Mentor Spring Retreat
- Preparation for Finals: Sushi and Stress Management