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Peer-Academic Mentor Program

Program Description
The Peer-Academic Mentor Program embeds writing consultants in Humanities and Social Sciences at Clayton State University in an effort to help students grow as academic writers. PAMs work closely with faculty partners to engage students in the writing process by providing writing workshops and individualized and group tutoring. A PAM will be familiar with the curriculum, course assignments, and have strong verbal communication and critical thinking skills. The responsibilities of the PAM will vary based on the faculty partner’s teaching style, though each PAM shares the journey of growing as a peer mentor.  

The objectives of the PAM Program are to

  • Foster student success
  • Support student retention
  • Improve students’ learning skills
  • Improve students’ writing problem solving skills
  • Help students develop library research and information literacy strategies
  • Serve as a cultural ambassador to new and transfer students

Program History
The Peer-Academic Mentor Program started in Fall 2017 through funding by the Department of Education’s Primarily Black Institution Grant.

About the Coordinators
The Peer-Academic Mentor Program is coordinated by Dr. Cantice Greene and Dr. Matthew Sansbury

FAQ for Faculty Partners and Future
Peer-Academic Mentors

FAQ for Faculty

What can PAMs do in my classroom?

  • Attend class (virtually) and participate in discussion boards, Q&A sessions, or other in-class activities
  • Meet with instructor (via Teams) regularly (if requested) to discuss paper assignments and how to help students
  • Introduce themselves to students by email or with a self-introduction video
  • Meet with individual or groups of students in D2L or Teams to discuss reading and/or writing assignments, brainstorm, work on specific skills or writing strategies (avoiding plagiarism, conducting research, thesis development etc).
  • Reach out to students who have been absent or who have not submitted coursework
  • Respond to drafts of assignments via Teams, email, or in D2L
  • Assist students in accessing, navigating, and submitting assignments in D2L
  • Assist students in creating their e-portfolios, drafting the reflective essay, and revising their assignments
  • Assist students with source-based writing (how to use Galileo; how to evaluate sources)
  • Help students identify and access campus resources they might need

How can I share feedback on my experience with a PAM?
Faculty will be asked to complete a survey on their experience with a PAM at the end of each semester. Faculty can also contact Dr. Cantice Greene and Dr. Matthew Sansbury at any time to share feedback or ask questions.

How do I request a PAM?
To request a PAM, please submit the request form.

What are my responsibilities as a faculty partner?
As a faculty partner, you are able to engage with Peer-Academic Mentors in numerous ways to meet your teaching style and class needs.  We have found that partnerships works best when faculty participate in the following ways:

  • Participate in a PAM Faculty-Partner meeting with PAM Program Coordinators at the start of the semester
  • Meet with mentors three times during the semester: one meeting at the start of the semester, another mid-way through the semester, and another prior to e-Portfolio assignment
  • Share syllabus, course schedule, and readings with mentor
  • Discuss assignment description and evaluation instruments with mentor
  • Assist mentors in preparing reading circles or small group workshops
  • Complete an evaluation of mentor’s performance at the end of the semester 

Where do I document my work with PAMs on annual evaluation/promotion and tenure forms?
Faculty who partner with a PAM in a writing-intensive course are highly encouraged to document this partnership as part of the student success overlay. Potential categories include the following:

  • Improve existing programs that impact student success outcomes
  • Support persistence of students from diverse and historically underrepresented backgrounds
  • Adapt course contents to establish a sense of belonging that recognizes the students' identities and aspirations
  • Support mentoring activities engaging students outside the classroom
  • Provide professional career advisement

FAQ for Students

What are my responsibilities as a PAM?
The undergraduate peer mentor provides a variety of consulting services to students enrolled in writing-intensive courses at Clayton State University. The mentor serves as an aid and resource, not an editor. Mentors facilitate writing as a process to help cultivate critical thinking while growing a community of writers.

What are the requirements for becoming a PAM?

  • Must be enrolled as a student at Clayton State University
  • Must have completed ENGL 1101 and ENGL 1102, with at least a B
  • Must have a minimum overall 3.0 GPA
  • Must possess strong oral and written communication skills
  • Must be an effective team player
  • Must possess strong interpersonal skills
  • Must be detail-oriented
  • Must be able to take initiative in collaborative projects
  • Must be comfortable with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

How do I apply for the PAM position?
Send Dr. Cantice Greene and Dr. Matthew Sansbury a resumé, cover letter (maximum one page) explaining your interest and qualifications, and the name and email address of a faculty member willing to provide a recommendation. This position will also be posted on the Laker Zone during the hiring period, in the spring semester.

What kind of training do I receive as a PAM?
New PAMs participate in a week-long training seminar at the start of the semester, usually during the first week of August. They also participate in monthly two-hour community meetings at the Writers’ Studio together with other writing consultants and consultants embedded in other writing intensive courses. They also hold meetings regularly with their faculty partners throughout the semester.  

Additionally, PAMs are strongly encouraged to enroll in ENGL 3700 Response to Writing, offered every spring semester.

How many hours can I work as a PAM?
Peer-Academic Mentors can work up to 19.5/hours, though responsibilities per week may vary based on the PAM’s agreement with their faculty partner. Students are expected to be able to dedicate at least 10 hours/week to their PAM duties.   

Can I work as a PAM virtually?
It depends on faculty requests. 

What should I include in my application letter?
First of all, please note that the letter plays a critical part in our decision to interview candidates, more than your resumé. In other words, we care about how you will work with writers as you continue your academic journey. Here are some tips to keep in mind as your compose your letter:

  • Write the letter in the first person
  • Introduce yourself and where career path you are pursuing
  • Identify projects in or outside of your classes that provide insight about your personality
  • Explain what interests you about mentoring and tutoring
  • Discuss what motivates you to apply for the position
  • Discuss how you can help students grow as writers and communicators
  • Provide details and examples that elaborate on relevant experiences
  • Emphasize skills, such as writing, time management, work-school-life balance that could help you as a mentor
  • Discuss any relevant experience that you had as a student
  • Discuss experience you had with a PAM, if relevant