Perspectives of Peer Mentors Supporting Inclusive Higher Education
Questions remain about how best to support the involvement of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in all aspects of campus life—both within and beyond the college classroom. Although program staff and faculty can be critical, the need for more natural sources of support must also be emphasized. Fellow college students can play a variety of roles in supporting students with intellectual disability to access a wide range of campus experiences, including classes, student organizations, volunteer experiences, residential life, work, and spending time with friends. Indeed, most programs in the United States draw heavily on this ubiquitous and natural avenue of support.
A small collection of studies has described the roles of peer mentors on diverse campuses (e.g., Culnane, Eisenman, & Murphy, 2016; Farley, Gibbons, & Cihak, 2014; Griffin, Mello, Glover, Carter, & Hodapp, 2016; Izzo & Shuman, 2013). Yet, few studies have focused on the factors that draw peer mentors to this role. This Fast Fact 22 describes a range of factors addressed by questions asked of peer mentors in a multi-campus study.
Carter, E.W. (2019). Perspectives of Peer Mentors Supporting Inclusive Higher Education. Think College Fast Facts, Issue No. 22. Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for Community Inclusion.