Mentors and mentees alike benefit from the support and community network established through Peer Advisors and Mentors. First-year students value the close relationships with an upperclassman and the guidance they receive while transitioning to college. In addition to the one-on-one mentor partnerships, small family cluster groups allow for nearly instant connections among students and often lead to lifelong friendships.

In the Richmond Metro area, students also appreciate the opportunity to engage in community service activities. These events lead to interesting and exciting interactions among participants that expand their worldviews.

Our success is most easily noted (below) in our retention rates and the average GPAs of our students. The Peer Advisors and Mentors program’s retention rates have exceeded the University’s retention rates throughout most of the program’s existence.

Outstanding Student Retention and Graduation: The Peer Advisors and Mentors Program at the University of Richmond

Today’s colleges and universities continue to face the challenges of retaining and graduating their students. Historically, peer-mentoring programs have helped to successfully meet these challenges. The Peer Advisors and Mentors (PAM) program has assisted in the retention of students, all while giving students opportunities that develop and hone their leadership, academic, and personal skills. Over the course of 29 years, PAM has evolved into a program that touches on significant facets deemed important by experts on the matters of retention and graduation. Such factors include mentoring, advising, integration, and engagement. This article gives an historical perspective on how a peer- mentoring program has assisted in the retention and graduation of first-year student mentees through mentoring and leadership. For a historical perspective, further information about the outstanding retention, persistence and graduation rates, and more on what makes PAM so successful, read this 2015 publication of the SACRAO Journal.