St. Francis Xavier University
“Peer Mentorship Program” Grant
St. Francis Xavier University was awarded a three-year grant in 2010 by the Board of The Counselling Foundation of Canada to develop a Peer Mentorship Program to support incoming students. St Francis Xavier University (StFX) is a small, primarily undergraduate university located in the rural town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, with an enrolment of approximately 4500 students, approximately 1900 of whom reside in on-campus residence buildings.
Representatives at StFX identified a need for a university-offered resource to provide support to the student body as the municipality where the university is located is oftentimes hard pressed to provide adequate counselling services. The Peer Mentorship Program was developed to support students throughout their university experience. Students can rely on their Peer Mentor for help with everything from home sickness, to information about StFX resources, to finding a counsellor when needed. The Peer Mentors also provide student workshops to aid students balance their social and academic life. The former are trained student volunteers who range from sophomores to seniors and represent all academic programs and a variety of perspectives. StFX provides extensive training to peer mentors in the Peer Mentorship Program and professional counsellors supervise their work. Peer mentorship offers student volunteers invaluable training and experience as student leaders. The training and skills taught in the Peer Mentorship Program is a benefit to their future careers and lives in general.
St. Francis Xavier University is pleased to offer its Peer Mentorship Program Guide which outlines the cornerstones of this initiative: (a) program description and activity timelines, (b) peer mentor training, (c) placement process, (d) support for mentors, (d) infrastructure requirements, and (e) templates of various administrative documents.