The University Honors Peer Mentor Program strives to assist first-year students in their transition to Northern Illinois University, both academically and socially, by providing support and resources from seasoned student mentors.
Through strong mentorship during the first year, students will acclimate effectively to the University Honors Program, be actively involved in the NIU community, influential in their leadership roles and successfully engaged in their academics and personal lives.
The University Honors Peer Mentor Program was founded in August 2011 on a volunteer basis for both mentors and mentees. The program quickly grew, mainly in part to the expressed desire from students who were new to Northern Illinois University that wished to become directly engaged with an honors student who had already attended NIU for at least one year.
The fall semester of 2014 marked a vital turning point in the program, in that all incoming honors freshmen would automatically become mentees, and all honors transfer students would have the option of doing so as well. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the program served 210 mentees and 47 volunteer mentors.
Prior to the start of the new academic year, all of the new mentors will receive face-to-face training, a Mentors Handbook, and a Northern Illinois University Honors t-shirt. The mentors will have the opportunity to meet directly with the mentees at the freshman retreat at Lorado Taft Forest Preserve in mid-August.
The mentors will be expected to guide the new students through their transition to NIU, and specifically, through the rigors of the Honors Program. Frequent contact with the mentees, attending honors events with their mentees (such as the Welcome Back B-B-Q), and attending monthly training sessions are a few of the requirements that mentors must be willing to commit to. The focus of this program is to ensure that the incoming students have the strongest mentors possible as they start their exciting and rewarding career here at Northern Illinois University!