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Mentoring Matters

The Department of Biology’s Mentoring Matters program was born out of a need for more peer tutors helping the freshman biology course, Biol 110. This course services many life science majors including biology, nursing and kinesiology. A small handful of students along with one of the BIOL 110 master instructors recognized the need for such a program. Peer mentoring/tutoring is supported by a recent publication in CBE Life Science Education (CBE Life Sci Educ. 2015 Jun 1; 14(2): ar16 doi:  10.1187/cbe.14-08-0120). “The success of peer-tutoring programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses suggests that wider implementation of such programs will improve student performance.”

The Mentoring Matters program has grown, 30 -50 mentors/tutors, several supportive faculty members and an official advisor assist hundreds of biology students each semester. The students meet in the biology lounge until 4pm; then they move to Edith Garland Library in an area of the reference section.

Mentoring matters can help students with Introductory Biology, Biology Laboratory, Anatomy & Physiology lecture and lab, Cell Biology lecture and lab, Genetics, Microbiology and non-majors Principles of Biology. Mentees and Mentors/Tutors develop good study habits and test- taking skills. They share personal experiences that provide a sense of community within the Department. Peer driven networks and friendships create such an atmosphere with ease. The amazing thing about this program is how it has grown from within through the efforts of the mentors themselves.  They promulgate the program by advertising, visiting classes, scheduling sessions, and of course, mentoring in their own area of expertise. Biology Mentors often say they get far more out of this program than their MENTEES!

Student interested in serving as mentors must have earned an “A” in the course they assist in. They must have a GPA of 3.00 and cannot have any F’s on their transcripts.  Students should contact Dr. Sherry Krayesky-Self at