Academic Mentor Position

This page is for informational purpose only and does not reflect actual position opening. All open positions will be posted on Western Michigan University's Handshake website. 

Major duties and responsibilities

Please review our mentor values and work distribution before proceeding.

  • Provide peer mentorship, academic review, tutoring, and referral services to mentees in a group or individual setting as well as in the Mentoring for Success Program's forum.
  • Facilitate weekly study sessions for participants in target population and maintain participant study session sign-in logs.
  • Meet with assigned mentees on a regular (usually weekly) basis and maintain student activity logs.
  • Assist mentees in schedule building and the development of individualized success plans, facilitate the development of study skills and time management techniques in mentees, and encourage mentee participation in the Mentoring for Success Program's reward program.
  • Participate consistently in appropriate follow-up, documentation, and evaluation activities, including, but not limited to, checking and responding to email every other day, maintaining W-Exchange calendar, keeping track of student reward points, as well as logging in to and updating the Mentoring for Success Program's online student database after each meeting with mentees.
  • Participate actively in the Mentoring for Success Program's forum online every other day including, but not limited to, contributing to all staff discussions, completing assigned tasks by stated deadlines, replying to student queries, and monitoring student posts to ensure that forum rules are not violated.
  • Commit to Mentoring for Success Program for at least one academic year; plan accordingly and be available to assist mentees throughout the week including during non-traditional work hours as well as during and through mid-term and final exam weeks.
  • Maintain frequent and regular contact with program staff and participants, providing appropriate responses and follow-ups as needed.
  • Attend all other scheduled activities, events, staff meetings and meetings related to the program; provide reasonable excuse and documentation to program director if unable to attend any activity, event, or meeting.
  • Assist in planning, organizing, and publicizing program events, offering appropriate feedback and suggestions in a timely manner.
  • Undergo periodic performance review, which includes, but is not limited to, meeting weekly with the program director and other supervisors on a recurring basis or as needed to go over completed peer mentor performance evaluation form and to develop a performance improvement plan, and completing the peer mentor exam.

General requirements

  • Enrolled as a regular junior, senior, or graduate student in a degree-granting program at Western Michigan University. Qualified sophomore applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Have a cumulative WMU grade point average of 3.5 or better (or a cumulative WMU grade point average of 3.0 or better and at least a BA in the classes for which tutoring will be provided).
  • Have completed at least two semesters in a degree-granting undergraduate program at a U.S. institution of higher education. (Must also provide official transcripts from all U.S. post-secondary institutions attended.)
  • Able to commit an average of 10 hours per week for at least one academic year.
  • Access to a personal computer and own a mobile phone that has voice, text, and data capability and plan. 
  • Have experience as a peer mentor and in developing strategies to help mentees achieve academic and personal success.
  • Able to provide tutoring and have demonstrated academic proficiency in selected subject areas.
  • Proficient in spoken and written English.
  • Awarded work-study (preferred).

Qualities of a successful candidate

  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to helping students succeed academically, socially, emotionally, and professionally.
  • Have a good understanding of the distinction between peer mentoring and tutoring or teaching.
  • Able to serve as a knowledgeable and experienced guide and resource, a trusted ally and advocate, and a caring role model to mentees.
  • Able to lead discussions, help locate resources, and facilitate life skills development among mentees.
  • Able to work with diverse populations.
  • Possess excellent communication, leadership, organization, and multitasking skills.
  • Must be detail-oriented, flexible, dependable, and able to perform well under pressure.
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Have a broad understanding of campus resources.
  • Familiar with the U.S. education system at the high school and undergraduate college levels.


  • Free computer and printer use in the program office.
  • Flexible work hours.
  • Competitive wages.
  • Opportunity for advancement into leadership or supervisory positions.
  • Free access to educational resources and materials for the subjects you tutor.
  • Challenging and satisfying work experience.
    • Opportunity to review course materials within or outside your field and gain a better and different understanding of the materials.
    • Sharing knowledge with others, giving back to your community, and making a difference in someone's life.
    • Being mentored by more experienced peer mentors.
    • Gaining instructional experience, developing appreciation of and respect for learning and teaching, and becoming a more effective teacher.
    • Constant motivation for self-improvement.
  • Learning transferable skills for future jobs and improving your employability.
    • Résumé enhancement.
    • Positive references.
    • Networking opportunity.
    • Personal and professional development.
      • Development and enhancement of leadership skills, organization skills, time management skills, critical thinking skills, communication skills, writing skills, public speaking skills, self-confidence, self responsibility and social accountability, as well as other important life skills.
    • Meeting and working with individuals from different backgrounds and with a wide range of skills, talents, perspectives, values, and beliefs.