Counselors in training from the Master of Science in community counseling (MSCC) program at Rogers State University are available to help RSU students with a variety of challenges and concerns through a new initiative called peer mentoring.
Peer mentoring, also called peer to peer mentoring, is a form of mentorship that takes place between someone who has lived through a specific experience and someone new to that experience, such as an experienced student being a peer mentor to a new student in a particular subject or at a new school.
Peer mentoring founders Lynette Baer and Rebekah Walsh, both of whom are MSCC program students, recognized the need for and value of such a program to exist at RSU.
“College can be very stressful for students, especially when they’re first starting out,” Baer explained. “Students find themselves in a new environment, surrounded by new people, oftentimes in a new town, and they’re suddenly facing the challenges of balancing classes, homework, a social life, work. There can be challenges they’re facing in their personal life. It can be overwhelming, especially if they feel like they have to figure it all out on their own.”
Through the peer mentoring program, students can connect with more experienced students in the MSCC program who can help them find a balance for all their new responsibilities, as well as learn techniques and methods to cope with stressors.
“People don’t need to feel like they have to do it all on their own. We want them to know there are others who are currently going through the same challenges, or who have already been through them and are available to offer advice,” Baer said. “Even if a student doesn’t feel like they need to talk to a therapist, they can still want to talk to someone who will listen and who has advice on how to juggle new responsibilities, how to cope with anxiety and uncertainty at a very uncertain time in most people’s lives. Above all, we want people to know they can make connections with someone who understands what they feel, what they’re going through, and there are tools and resources for them to keep themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.”
MSCC program volunteers offer help with anxiety, psychoeducation, coping skills, career guidance, personal development and more.
Peer mentoring services are available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends, based upon volunteer availability. Mentoring services are held in Baird Hall, room 201 (upstairs at the end of the hall).
To meet with a mentor, text Baer at 918-955-2059 or email [email protected].
For more information about RSU’s M.S. in community counseling program, visit www.rsu.edu/mscc.