Peer Mentor Learning Community
What is the Peer Mentor Learning Community?
The Peer Mentor Learning Community (PMLC) Program at UTM is a collaboration between the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre (RGASC) and Accessibility Services. The PMLC Program is a free, non-credit program that aims to help Accessibility students build academic skills and a sense of community. There are four types of events in the PMLC Program: Interactive Workshops, Social Events, Zoom Study Groups, and One-on-One Mentoring. PMLC events are facilitated by Peer Mentors: upper-year undergraduate student volunteers who are highly trained in facilitation and accessibility.
In the 2021-2022 academic year, all PMLC events will be delivered online via Zoom.
The PMLC Program has an extensive catalogue of asynchronous videos and reading materials on a wide variety of topics, including AIMS, time management, note-taking, test preparation, resiliency, stress management, assistive technology, and more. All of these materials are currently uploaded to the 2021-2022 Accessibility Services Academic Skills Quercus website. Additional materials will be periodically uploaded throughout the upcoming year.
Although the PMLC Program aims to support undergraduate students at UTM who self-identify as having a disability, all students are welcome to attend any PMLC group event. Only one-on-one mentoring is restricted to UTM Accessibility students.
PMLC 2021-2022 Schedule
PMLC Interactive Workshops: What to Expect
PMLC Interactive Workshops aim to help students build academic skills that are necessary for success in university. Examples of topics that have previously been covered in PMLC Interactive Workshops are note-taking, effective reading, test-taking, essay-writing, creating a study plan, time management, productivity, and more.
In PMLC Interactive Workshops, Peer Mentors use facilitative techniques to support students. In other words, Peer Mentors do not directly teach students; instead, Peer Mentors facilitate activities that allow students to actively discuss and practice using academic techniques, strategies, and skills (such as time management, note-taking, test-taking, essay-writing, etc.).
As such, PMLC Interactive Workshops are highly collaborative and hands-on. Students are strongly encouraged (but not required) to actively participate in the discussion and activities, turn on their videos, unmute their microphones to talk, answer poll questions, etc.
PMLC Interactive Workshops use facilitation instead of teaching because facilitation helps students become active, self-directed, and lifelong learners.
PMLC Social Events: What to Expect
PMLC Social Events aim to help students build a sense of community. These events often involve board games (such as Taboo, Pictionary, Uno, etc.), guided meditation, cooking or baking tutorials, painting or drawing, and more.
Students are strongly encouraged (but not required) to actively participate in the discussion and activities, turn on their videos, unmute their microphones to talk, answer poll questions, etc.
PMLC Zoom Study Groups: What to Expect
PMLC Zoom Study Groups are scheduled times for students to plan and achieve their study goals in the company of peers. These quiet, welcoming Zoom calls provide students with a designated time and space to review lectures, complete readings, work on assignments, study for tests and exams, and more.
At the start of each Zoom Study Group, the Peer Mentor will encourage students to quickly jot down a SMART (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goal for the session. Then, the Zoom Study Group will begin, at which point students will have 2 hours to quietly and independently focus on their studies. All students will mute their microphones to minimize distractions. The Peer Mentor will keep their video turned on so that students have a friendly face while they study. If students wish to keep their video turned on during the session so that their peers can hold them accountable to working, they are more than welcome to do so.
Halfway through the 2-hour session, there will be an optional 10-minute break, during which time students may choose to join their peers in restful and fun activities led by the Peer Mentor (such as a chatting, completing a word search, light exercise or stretching, playing a quick game, etc.).
During the last 30 minutes of the session, attendees will have the option to send a private message to the Peer Mentor to request one-on-one mentoring in a breakout room. This is an opportunity for students to ask questions about how to succeed in university while managing their health.
At the end of the 2-hour session, the Peer Mentor will invite the students to reflect on their SMART goals.
PMLC One-on-One Mentoring
First- and second-year undergraduate students registered with Accessibility Services at UTM are invited to register for One-on-One Mentoring. Students can meet with a Peer Mentor during confidential one-on-one sessions to learn how to navigate university life and meet their personal and academic goals.
To register for one-on-one mentoring, please complete the following form. A member of the Accessibility Services team will follow up with you.
Please contact us for more information about the PMLC program:
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