Peer mentoring is often considered the single most effective strategy for increasing student retention and student satisfaction. As a consequence, mentoring programs have been implemented at most universities and are an essential feature of best practice transition programs. Yet, the literature is inconsistent regarding what the term entails and how it is applied, leading to diverse opinions about what constitutes a mentoring program. It could be argued that agreement on a definition of mentoring is secondary to the benefits of its practice and that an emphasis on terminology is just playing semantics. However, this article argues that terminology does matter and that elucidating what mentoring entails is crucial to the comparative evaluation and improvement of mentoring practice as well as the identification of best practice. The article goes on to suggest how mentoring boundaries might be set by drawing on experiences from an Australian University.
- mentoring programs
- Peer mentor