Blog 1: Effects of Peer Mentoring On First-Year Student Athletes

The working title for my research project is “The Effects of Academic Peer Mentoring on First-Year Student Athletes.” The goal of my research project being conducted with Professor Buffone is to assess and gather two year’s worth of data as a means to determine the effectiveness of small group mentoring. My role as a student researcher will be divided into two parts: peer mentor and data analyst. I will be gathering data from the several groups of first-year athletes with whom I work. In addition, with the help of other peer mentors in the Learning Assistance Center, I will be collecting the data they gather from their first-year student athlete groups. Once the data is collected, I will be able to examine it fully. 

The research project is expected to produce data on how these small group peer mentoring meetings correlate with student success.We are using the GPA as an indicator of academic success. From this project, I expect to learn more about how individual topics introduced during mentoring sessions, for example using planners for time management, communicating with professors, etc., assist first year students. In particular, I expect this research to help the peer mentors that might come after me. I hope that this research can be used at the Learning Assistance Center here to assist future first year student athletes and to also possibly used as reference for tutoring centers at other universities. 

To answer my research questions, I will generate data from the small mentoring groups like recording how much time the students spend on social media, whether or not they enjoy studying in groups, information about what they put in their planners, etc. Data has been collected on Google Sheets for the past three years, and each year a new file has been made and edited. Based on this quantitative data, I will also be generating a descriptive design where hybrid qualitative and quantitative information will be analyzed together. I will be working with a majority of the students receiving the peer mentoring services from this year and have worked with a large number of students from previous years, I will be able to examine and draw conclusions from the data.

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