Peer mentors are current Lipscomb students who volunteer to support IDEAL students in their day-to-day activities.
Peer mentors serve as study buddies, workout buddies, in-class aides, lunch or chapel buddies, and even spiritual mentors. Most of all, peer mentors are friends who love to hang out with their IDEAL student mentees!
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Peer Mentor Roles
Most peer mentors work one-on-one with IDEAL students to help them complete tasks, meet their goals, or just enjoy college life. The activities that mentors and mentees do together vary depending on the assigned role. Peer Mentors choose one or more of the following roles:
- Study Peers - Volunteers who support IDEAL students’ academic growth. These mentors help IDEAL students as they complete their Lipscomb and IDEAL coursework, and promote soft skills, such as time management and problem-solving.
- Workout (SAC) Peers - Volunteers who encourage healthy living and support growth in social skills. These mentors workout with IDEAL students in the Student Activities Center, promote healthy choices and work toward fitness goals.
- Lunch or Chapel (Social) Peers - Volunteers who provide social support for IDEAL students. These mentors serve as friends in these more chaotic social scenarios and support successful growth in meeting social and interpersonal goals.
- In-class Peers - Volunteers who provide in-class support for students specifically struggling with literacy, attention, or motivation. These mentors attend Lipscomb classes with IDEAL students and provide individual support where needed.
- Spiritual Mentors - Based on the Lipscomb University model, these volunteers meet regularly with mentees to provide spiritual support and direction, using a curriculum specifically designed with IDEAL students in mind.
- Evening Peers - Volunteers who provide social and/or academic support for IDEAL students after the academic day and on weekends. These mentors support students in forming healthy study habits and independence skills.
Most volunteer shifts are about one hour in length, and volunteers generally volunteer about 2-3 hours per week. All are welcome to apply, and volunteers can choose the number of hours that they wish to volunteer. Volunteers must commit to working a regular weekly schedule for each semester that they apply, with volunteering ending on the last day of classes each semester.
Most IDEAL students are only on campus from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Peer mentors can select the times within that time frame, Monday to Friday, that fit best with their schedule. List your availability on your application, and you will be paired with a mentee whose availability matches yours. The more availability you list, the greater chance of finding a good match!
Mentor pairing depends on availability of the mentor/mentee, preferences of the mentor/ mentee, and expected compatibility, per the mentor application, and is always subject to change, if the fit is not a good one!
- The first step is to fill out an IDEAL Peer Mentor application, which you can access through the link to the left of the page. The application includes your information, availability, and volunteer preferences.
- Next, all new mentors must attend a Peer Mentor training. The training lasts approximately two hours, and must be completed before you can begin volunteering. At least two trainings are held at the beginning of each semester. See link to the left for information about any upcoming Peer Mentor trainings.
- If your application is accepted and your availability fits our needs, you will receive a scheduling assignment from the Volunteer Manager approximately 3-5 weeks after the start of the semester. Once you approve this schedule, you will begin volunteering!
- Peer Mentors will meet their IDEAL student mentees on a weekly basis, culminating on the last day of classes for the semester.
Mentors who apply early enough can always get SALT Tier III credit for their participation with IDEAL. There are also many SALT Tier II classes which partner with IDEAL to allow their students to earn credit through service with IDEAL. Peer Mentors also have a few chances per year to earn Tier I credit through one-time service projects in December and April. For more information about earning SALT credit, visit the Lipscomb SALT program website.
Yes! Each semester, the IDEAL Program hires Job Coaches to support IDEAL students at internships, and “Circle of Support Leaders” to provide IDEAL students with more focused behavioral and academic support and serve as Lead Mentors. You can find out more about student job openings with IDEAL at the Lipscomb Human Resources website.