ST1 – Peer mentoring and the first year experience.

Room C – TUESDAY 13:00-14:00

Dr Aiden Carthy

Institute of Technology Blanchardstown

Aiden has fifteen years lecturing experience at third level institutions in Ireland.  His primary research interests are in the areas of emotional intelligence and the first year experience.  He has been actively researching and publishing in both areas for the past number of years.


Evaluation of a pilot peer mentoring programme that was conducted with first year business students at a third level teaching institution in Dublin, Ireland.


The transition from secondary level learning to independent study can be difficult to negotiate and many students also experience emotional pressures as they adjust to a busy social environment at college.  Many third level institutions are exploring ways to improve the first year experience and one such approach that has gained increasing interest in recent years is the provision of peer mentoring.    This paper outlines and evaluates a pilot peer mentoring programme that was conducted with first year business students at a third level institution in Dublin, Ireland.  Three first year groups were chosen for participation in this study due to on-going low levels of engagement and high levels of attrition.  A novel 3600 approach was formulated, whereby students where provided support by mentors, lecturers and support staff. In order to measure the efficacy of the programme, feedback was elicited from participants and key academic variables (GPA and attrition rate) for participants and a matched sample that did not receive coaching were also compared.  Results revealed that GPA increased significantly for one of the three student groups involved and that the attrition rate decreased significantly for one of the three groups.  This show and tell outline the exact details of the mentoring programme that was employed and lessons learned as a consequence of conducting this pilot study and recommendations for the future will also be presented.



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