Module 01: Intro

Module 01 serves as an introduction to best practices in communication; the benefits of mentoring; recognizing Peer Mentor success, strengths and needs.
In order to complete this section, you will:

  1. Review the sub-sections below
    •  Communication is Key (video)
    •  Benefits of Mentoring
    •  Recognizing your Strengths and Needs
    •  Hallmarks of Success
  2. Complete and submit the “Apply your Knowledge Quiz”
    (see link at the bottom of this page)

Learning outcomes of this section:

  • Best practices and the importance of communication
  • Recognize the benefits of mentoring
  • Recognize your mentoring strengths
  • Recognize when you need help and where to get it
  • Recognize your success

Deadline to complete Module 01: Friday, June 4, 2021


Hi! I’m a returning Peer Mentor and today I want to talk to you about communication.
I cannot say enough about its importance…

This video refers to the “Student Mentor Program Handbook”. This is no longer printed and instead, content and supportive information that used to be in the printed handbook has been added to the “Support” section of this blog!



You have all signed up to become Peer Mentors for similar, but different reasons: you want to give back; you want to support new students; or you recognize the value of taking on a leadership role and getting involved on campus.


Consider for a moment that it’s not just you, as a Peer Mentor, that can benefit from mentoring. Are there benefits for Student Mentees? Does mentorship impact the student experience and OCAD U as a whole?

Benefits of mentoring for Peer Mentors:

  • Opportunity to build a base of transferable skills: leadership;
    communication, interpersonal and team building skills.
  • Enhance your own self-esteem.
  • Create networking opportunities.
  • Résumé content.
  • Positive interaction with peers.

Benefits of mentoring for Student Mentees:

  • Peer to peer support.
  • Advice and guidance from a peer and fellow student.
  • Confidence and belief in their potential and capabilities.
  • Knowledge regarding OCAD U procedures.
  • What else?

Impact of mentoring on student experience and OCAD U:

  • Students feel supported as they arrive at a new, anonymous space.
  • Creates a sense of belonging and support.
  • Creates a sense of connection and pride and community.
  • New students realize that they are more than just a “number”.
  • Contributes to academic success.
  • Contributes to relationships/community.
  • Welcoming and warm atmosphere.
  • Contributes to the culture of success.

These are just a few examples. What else comes to mind?

To know that these benefits exist, you are able to reflect on them and, as a Peer Mentor, ask yourself, how can I take advantage of these benefits for my own success?

And equally important, what benefits can you provide to others?

  • Contribute to OCAD U energy and atmosphere and make others feel welcome.
  • Contribute to the culture of success: we’re all part of that; you are successful students. Success is not bestowed. Success is created using resources and supports, and through our connections to others in the same pursuits as we are.
  • Make others aware of resources. New students coming in may not know about Student Groups, Health & Wellness Centre, or Writing & Learning Centre. YET.
  • Deliver on these things so new students become better aware and included.



Recognizing your strengths and acknowledging your needs to become a Peer Mentor and student leader are not always an easy thing to do. You are taking a step towards being open to learning more through this process.


There are no wrong answers here. Think about it this way:
In your opinion, what are the strengths you feel you already possess?
What do you want to learn or gain from this experience?
What do you need from us to accomplish your goals?

Be open to learning from your Mentees. And from each other—don’t be shy to share and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge, experience and resources that are your fellow Peer Mentors.

Take advantage of the additional materials we provide you with.
Content on the SUPPORT and RESOURCES pages of this blog, for example, is designed just for you and has so much helpful information.



The word “peer” means “equal”. To be a successful Peer Mentor, level the power gradient—that is get on even ground—and treat your Student Mentee as such.


Judging your Mentee or acting like a “know it all” is not your goal. Be respectful of limits and boundaries and engage in an honest, two-way exchange. Don’t be afraid to disagree or challenge—but be objective.

Respect your Mentee as an autonomous individual and expect that they are likely going to make different decisions and choices than you did. Be encouraging and be accepting of mistakes—and don’t be afraid to make mistakes yourself and learn from the experience.

Ultimately, your success as a Peer Mentor will be dependent on approaching your Mentee in this manner; consistent communication; follow up and follow through.

Be sure to review the steps to “Successful Mentor Relationships” in the SUPPORT section of this blog:

  • Starting Out: initiating contact
  • Follow Up: communication and checking in
  • Stabilization: Mentee needs are supported
  • Conclusion: program wrap-up; offer of continued support; friendship

Photos by Mathisan Paramanathan