The Benefits of a Peer-mentoring Program at a University in South Africa
Abstract: It is well known that the highest rate of student attrition occurs in the first year at university. The high attrition rate can be accounted to a number of factors, one of which is students finding it difficult to make the adjustment from school to university. Information Technology students have the added challenge of a difficult course. One of the interventions that universities have put in place to support first year students, is through introducing a peer-mentoring program. In this paper we investigate whether the first year students studying the Diploma Business Information Technology at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, found the Peer-mentoring Program implemented by the Applied Information Systems Department to be beneficial. Peer-mentors also gave feedback. A questionnaire was given to one sample group of mentees comprising of 59 students. The study was quantitative. The results show that the interaction between a first year student and their peer-mentor can help students positively transition from high school to university.