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Mentor Program
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Participating Departments
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Biology   Chemistry   Physics   Psychology
Evaluation of an Undergraduate Mentoring Program in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at Reed College, 2000-2001
Appendix F

Student Responses to Open-ended Questions[16]

Question 2

About how often did you interact with any of the student mentors in your department?

a) Once or twice week

b) Once or twice a month

c) Once or twice a semester

d) Rarely or never

e) Other (please explain)

These responses refer to those students who marked (e) 'Other' (taken from Appendix C, Question 2).


A: Once (1)

B: Never (1)

C: Other (1)


Student #13: I did not even realize that this program existed until I received the survey! I am a house advisor this year and felt that I was well informed on the resources the college had to offer. C

Student #14 : Once the entire semester. A

Student #19 : I never saw the mentor because I only attended the lectures. B

Question 3

What did your interactions with the mentors consist of? (Please check all that apply.)

a) Help or consultation about labs

b) Help or consultation about lab reports

c) One-on-one or group consultation regarding design and implementation of research projects

d) One-on-one tutoring regarding course content

e) Group tutoring regarding course content

f) Help at any stage in writing a paper (choosing a topic, researching, editing, etc.)                                           

g) Help in improving performance on exams

h) General questions regarding your major department (classes you should take, grad. schools, etc.)

i) Other (please describe):

These responses refer to those students who marked 'Other' (taken from Appendix C, Question 3).


A: Clarification of assignments (1)

B: Assistance with lab and/or homework (3)

C: No interaction with mentors (3)

D: Other (2)


Student #3: One of the mentors was helpful and competent when I asked for help. The other mentor was less involved with the lab she assisted in...I had no idea that either of these students were mentors until I got this survey. In fact, I had never heard of the program at all, and I am still confused as to how it works. B

Student #6: When the professor was unclear about an assignment I would ask the mentor to clarify. A

Student #8: None. C

Student #9: I had no real interaction with any of these mentors on an academic level. C

Student #14: How to deal with the professor's idiosyncrasies. D

Student #15: Problem set help. B

Student #17: None of the above, I never used the mentors. C

Student #18: Help interpreting the data obtained in lab, helpful tricks and techniques in the lab. B

Student #19: I never knew there was a mentor for microbiology. D

Question 4

Which of these interactions were the most helpful to you? (Please explain.)


A: Lab consultation (5)

1. Assistance re: lab write-ups (1)
2. Clarification of lab concepts (7)
3. Assistance with independent research (2)

B: General consultation

1. Advice/assistance (3)

C: Other (1)


Student #1: Help in the lab was most beneficial - often we felt more comfortable asking the lab assistant questions than the professor. A

Student #2: Consultation about labs and experimental design. It was helpful to exchange ideas with someone a little more experienced than me. A1

Student #4: Being able to ask questions in the lab was the most helpful. B1

Student #5: Help with lab reports is very useful. A

Student #6: Clarification of concepts. A2

Student #7: Help during lab. Also, understanding the broader scope and application of the methods in the lab. A2

Student #10: The lab consultations were invaluable as my Cell Biology class was rather large and we were often unable to ask the professor directly for help on smaller topics. Without the mentor, we would have been much more confused and direction-less during lab-time. A

Student #11: Usually the mentors helped me understand specific points but I had no particularly helpful interaction. A2

Student #12: Help with design and implementation of research projects was the most useful. The mentors had past experience with the kind of projects we were trying to implement, so they knew what kind of questions we would be asking and how to answer them in a helpful way. A3

Student #14: I hate this class...(student gave additional responses completely unrelated to the question, but followed the general topic of hating the class.) C

Student #15: All of them were helpful - I liked being able to consult with someone, I appreciate one-on-one assistance. B1

Student #16: The mentors were approachable and really knew their stuff. B1

Student #18: All lab assistance was very helpful. A

Student #20: Our mentor was really helpful in labs - she helped a lot with working out technical problems as well as helping us to understand what our labs meant conceptually. A2

Student #21: Lab help. A

Student #23: Lab help - assistance in problem-shooting and lab report write-up, and especially assistance designing independent research. A2, A3

Student #24: Help on labs and course content were the most important to me. A2

Student #25: Help with protocol in lab was the most useful. A2

Question 7

Do you think that you would ever consider becoming a mentor? Why, or why not?


A: Yes, if  (7)

1. Academically prepared (1)
2. I had time (3)
3. I had sophomore standing (1)

B: No (1)

1. Not academically prepared (2)
2. No time (3)

C: Uncertain (3)

1. Need more information about program (2)


Student #1: I would consider becoming a mentor, but it would just depend on how much time I had. A2

Student #2: No, I don't think I know my stuff well enough. B1

Student #3 : I cannot answer this question until I have a better understanding of the program (and the position). C1

Student #4: No, it is somewhat of a time commitment and I have schoolwork to do and another job that I am happy with. B2

Student #5: Possibly, though it's a little late now. C

Student #6: YES! It would be a great opportunity to help my peers and it would also help me to learn the subject better...you don't really understand something until you teach it! A

Student #7: No, I feel like it's a bigger time commitment than is exhibited by the T.A.'s that I have experienced have shown. B2

Student #8: It sounds like it might be fun, but again, I don't know anything about the program, so I don't understand what their role is. C1

Student #9: Yes if I weren't graduating, I'm currently a mentor for a Statistics class. A2

Student #10: Yes, I've already received a grant for this summer and the coming fall. I've chosen to do this because I think that peer mentoring is valuable in that students speak each other's languages, and better understand the perspective of each other. A

Student #11: Yes, for intro bio. I t-watch (assist) in the bio computer labs and I've been able to help them out with lab write-ups. A

Student #12: I think I would enjoy being a mentor. I generally enjoy answering questions, helping people with their coursework and acting in the capacity of tutor/trainer/instructor. A

Student #13: I might - I am currently a tutor. However I would need more information. C

Student #14: Not really. I have enough of my own work to do. I also find that the mentors rarely know more than I do, if anything they've had a year to forget it all in, at the least. I don't think I'd be in any better of a boat. B

Student #15: Sure, it would be fun...I like helping people. A

Student #16: If I were a sophomore I would definitely consider it. A3

Student #17: I am a transfer who did not take reed intro bio and therefore would not probably be comfortable mentoring students who were in the midst of that class. I would feel comfortable mentoring on specific subjects... B1

Student #18: I am considering the NSF program if it fits into my schedule. C

Student #19: Yes, Teaching other peers what you know is the best way to relearn and remember the material. A

Student #20: If I weren't graduating this semester, I might consider becoming a mentor in the biology department. However, it does seem like a big time commitment for the mentor, which is a difficult thing to do when you have your own course load to deal with. C

Student #21: I was a chemistry T.A. last year and it was very rewarding. It depends on how much time a person has available whether mentoring is a good option. A2

Student #23: Not at this point because I will be writing my thesis next year. B2

Student #24: Yes, if I felt comfortable in my knowledge of the subject. A1

Student #25: Sure, it seems useful to have one and if you know the info then why not? A

Question 8

Is there anything else you would like to say about the program?


A: Praise (8)

B: Criticism (1)


Student #4: I think that the program seems to be helpful to a lot of people. For myself, I know that I have sought out T.A.'s in the past for help as an alternative to the professor and it's worked really well. A

Student #6: If it didn't get great responses this time, don't give up, it takes time for a program to really get off the ground! A

Student #7: I think that the idea of the program is excellent. Students definitely at times feel more comfortable talking to their peers than their professors especially in lab where the questions might be procedural. The students have been there recently and know what you are driving at with your question when the professor sometimes have no clue. A

Student #11: It's a great idea and I should use it more often. A

Student #12: I think the program could be very successful if the mentors were more integrated into the class. Instead of standing as an observer at the fringe, the mentors could be more effective if they actively made their presence and purpose known. B

Student #18: It really helped to have an extra person in the lab. A

Student #20: I have had two upper division biology classes at Reed that have had mentors help out in the lab section of the course. I think that the lab sections of these classes would've been a lot more difficult and hard to tackle if there hadn't been mentors to help out. In both classes, the professors seemed less willing to give students the information they needed to understand and complete lab experiments and independent projects. So without the mentors, I don't think I would've gotten as much out of either class. A

Student #23: The student mentors I have worked with have been very friendly and helpful - I really appreciated having them around. A

Student #24: It is wonderful!! A

Assessment Introduction
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D
Appendix E
Appendix F
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