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THRIVE program director discusses peer mentoring for student success

Dr. Rowe sitting at a table with three students helping them study.Dr. Tara Rowe, associate director of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and director of THRIVE, was recently featured in the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities’ (FCSUA) news brief to discuss the positive effects of peer mentor programs.

In the article, Rowe emphasizes the importance of mentor programs that are tailored to support the specific needs of distinct groups of students. Peer mentor programs can help increase academic and social success, while also increasing opportunities for students to connect with larger campus communities, especially when it comes to students with disabilities in higher education  

To help organizations understand the key needs for a successful peer mentor program, Rowe has created a checklist for developing a peer mentor program:

  • Student/program goals/needs identified
  • Role of mentoring clearly established with overall program
  • Mentor recruitment/training
  • Ongoing mentor support
  • Mentor/Mentee feedback
  • Program evaluation and assessment

Rowe also provides recommendations for improving existing peer mentor programs by discussing program evaluation, student involvement, matching mentees with mentors, addressing needed social skills and program assessment.

Rowe has worked with UNF since 2009. She completed her educational leadership doctorate at the University and collaborates with other institutions on supporting students with disabilities. She also serves as an adjunct instructor, teaching courses for the College of Education and Human Services where she centers her research on self-determination for all students. Rowe is passionate about supporting students with different abilities using campus resources to promote student success.

Read the full article online.