SAM-buddy program design for post-secondary schools and universities

The program (Student Adjustment Monitoring - buddy program) integrates traditional and non-traditional technology based support methods for peer-buddies (as we refer them mentors) to provide efficient and flexible mentoring to first year students for kick of period of school.

We designed SAM-buddy to work in one-on-one bases as well as in small group format. The technological platform provides a vast library of relevant information along with built in fun elements mentors and mentorees can enjoy as they walk along together in the period of eight weeks.

We put this unique program together to be the least disruptive of your studies as a mentor, fitting in with your schedule and academic obligations. During the spring semester we will provide mentors with an in-depth 4 hour orientation training along with supervision and professional daily support during the fall term. We however require mentors (peer-buddies) to take responsibility for their role as ambassadors of the University, to adequately respond to questions they may receive from their peer-buddy, and dedicate an hour of their time every week to meet with their mentoree in person. We believe personal meetings do foster growth and adjustment more efficiently.

How the program works:

For the period of eight weeks in the fall, mentors receive weekly tasks (focus questions, helping tools) in order to structure their times with their mentorees. During these personal one-on-one or small group meetings they cover topics closely related to psychological and academic adjustments. At times peer-buddies complete fun activates across town in order to get recognitions and gift items while competing with other peer-group formations. Mentors are also asked to provide feedback on the materials the office develops to check whether they respond to real needs, and address important issues. In the course of the two months mentors and mentorees are invited to take part in two exclusive social events designed for them to bring all involved in the peer-buddy program closer together while having fun.

SAM-buddy (peer-mentoring) program is filled with great potentials for a student. It offers group activities, professionally managed support for mentors via the designated office and staff, and provides great practice of people skills even if you have no such school experience.

With most duties, peer-mentoring comes with the challenge, that you really need to have an open heart for listening, meanwhile fulfilling your own academic obligations (attending classes, studying etc.) Thus, the office of peer-mentoring put together a peer-support program that is understanding the academic pressures of its volunteers.

Therefore:
- the eight week long program ends before the midterms,
- it offers flexible time management for scheduling your meetings with peer-buddy,
- it does not require you to commit for more than one time (unless you like to continue your work),
- it offers orientation training in the spring term so you can emotionally prepare for your "job" for September,
- it provides online "how to" resources for your role while gives you the liberty to respond to your mentoree's needs as they come.

SAM-buddy is available both as outsourced service (by Human-Service Student Support & Counseling Services) or as a licenced product that the given school can execute on its own.

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