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Peer-to-Peer Partnership Program

The Peer-to-Peer Partnership Program aims to facilitate the integration of international students, intercultural connections, and learning to enhance the globalization of the engineering community. We pair first-year international engineering undergraduate students (mentees) with experienced and committed second-, third-, fourth-, or fifth-year engineering students (mentors) who can help with cultural transition and adaption, social integration, and academic adjustment. The program also serves as a valuable opportunity for mentors to further their intercultural experiences, develop leadership skills, and build their personal and professional relationship skills. The program is administered through International Engineering Programs, housed in the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion, in partnership with the Center for Global Engineering Engagement and the Affirmative Action Office at Penn State.

The program matches two to three incoming international engineering undergraduate students with one mentor. Mentors and mentees are required to meet at least twice a month in the fall and spring semesters, once as peer-to-peer partners and once in a large group program meeting.

Each mentor will receive a $400 scholarship upon successful completion of their participation. Active mentees (participating in more than 80% of program activities) in good academic and University standing and who are committed to promoting global awareness will be eligible to submit an online application to be considered for one of a limited number of $300 scholarships.

Peer Mentor Requirements

Peer mentors (second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-year engineering students only) will be expected to:

  • attend a mandatory training session over two days (two-three hours each day) prior to the start of the fall 2021 semester, which will include:
    • general mentorship guidelines and responsibilities of mentoring
    • intercultural competence and communication—definition, importance, benefits, and cultural humility training
    • and campus resources—overview of available campus resources and where to reach out to upon facing different college-life challenges
  • attend a welcome retreat which will be held in the first two weeks of the semester to provide all participants—the mentors and peers—with an opportunity to meet, connect, and learn more about the scope and structure of the program;
  • and commit to meeting at least two times a month for:
    • a monthly large group meeting—workshops, training, or discussion sessions on topics, including but not limited to culture shock, intercultural communication, campus involvement, leadership, etc.
    • a monthly individual peer-mentee group meetings in person or virtually.

Mentors are expected to attend all required sessions and to organize and lead the individual meetings with mentees. When scheduling conflicts arise, mentors are responsible for notifying the program administrators to seek permission for an absence. Mentors will be expected to complete periodic reflections on the experience and an exit survey at the end of the academic year to assess your experience with the program.

Peer Mentee Requirements

Peer mentees (first-year international engineering students only) will be expected to:

  • attend a mandatory first meeting at the start of the fall 2021 semester which will include:
    • general program guidelines
    • your responsibilities
  • attend a welcome retreat which will be held in the first two weeks of the semester to provide all participants—the mentors and mentees—with an opportunity to meet and connect and learn more about the scope and structure of the program
  • and commit to meeting at least two times a month
    • a monthly large group meeting—workshops, training, or discussion sessions on topics including but not limited to culture shock, intercultural communication, campus involvement, leadership, etc.;
    • a monthly individual mentor-mentee group meetings in person or virtually

The mentees will be expected to complete a pre- and post- survey on their experience with the program and to complete periodic reflections.

If you have any questions, please reach out to International Engineering Programs in the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion at IEP@engr.psu.edu.

m justin schwartz, dean of engineering, that states skills in the area of leadership, teamwork, communication, and professional ethics are critically important for our graduates to contribute to their engineering professions and to compete in the engineering workforce

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About

Founded to serve students from groups underrepresented in engineering, the Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion assists College of Engineering students, faculty, and staff with equity and inclusion engagement. The center leads the implementation of evidence-based best practices to support student belonging and degree attainment, while also encouraging involvement with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion programs and organizations. All are welcome!

Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion

College of Engineering

112 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4287