Welcome to First-Year Mentoring

Welcome to BYU and First-Year Mentoring

Congratulations on your student’s acceptance to BYU! 
We are excited to welcome and help you and your student prepare for and experience a successful first year at BYU. The BYU Experience actually begins within weeks of admission through a nationally recognized, peer mentoring and new student orientation program. In this special edition of the new student Parent Newsletter, we will give you an overview of this program and how it will provide a smooth transition and strong foundation to your son or daughter’s first year at the University.

Why First-Year Mentoring?
Given their strong academic background, most students admitted to BYU feel confident in their ability to succeed. However, many quickly realize it’s a bigger challenge than they anticipated. In addition to more rigorous coursework, they are also dealing with different living, eating, and financial situations; time management challenges; new social scenes; figuring out a major; and finding their new “special” (they may feel they are no longer unique just because they were the valedictorian, seminary class president, Sterling Scholar, star athlete, etc.). First-Year Mentoring is dedicated to helping your student make this transition, acclimate to the BYU experience and find their new “niche”.

We believe in Peer Mentors for Everyone. As soon as students are admitted to the university, they are automatically assigned a Peer Mentor (also known as a Pre-Arrival Mentor) who will contact them by email and by phone in order to help them prepare for their arrival on campus and answer questions that students and parents might have about the transition. A peer mentor is an upperclassman who is hired and provided with extensive training and supervision to help students make the most out of their first year. When possible, students and their pre-arrival mentors are paired based on their chosen major. Once on campus, mentors will be assigned a new mentor who is attached to a mentored course. That mentor will continue to touch base with the students via email, text, and in person throughout their first year at BYU, keep them informed about important events and dates, and offer encouragement and support as needed.

Mentored Courses. First-Year Mentoring reserves seats in high-demand classes during fall semester for new students. These classes are referred to as “mentored courses” and a peer mentor is assigned to each one. These courses include American Heritage, First-Year Writing, Religion, Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, Physical Science, Humanities, and many more. Students are expected to sign up for at least one of these courses during their first fall semester.

We’ve provided the following articles to explain the role of First-Year Mentoring in more detail.

Welcome to BYU!

First-Year Mentoring

Phil Rash is the Director of the Office of First-Year Experience.