Student Perspectives on Peer Mentoring in an Inclusive Postsecondary Education Context
Keywords:peer mentoring, postsecondary education, inclusive education, intellectual disability
This qualitative study investigates the experiences of students with intellectual disability with peer mentors at a large Midwestern inclusive postsecondary education program (IPSE). Participants were students with intellectual disability and peer mentors associated with the IPSE. Students with intellectual disability are valued as partners in developing and sustaining peer mentor supports and their perspectives are emphasized in this study. Data analysis reveals similarities and differences between the students with intellectual disability and peer mentors in their perceptions of friendship, college life, and support needs. Amount of time spent in the program also emerged as a factor in student and peer perceptions of peer mentoring. Students described various activities and peer mentor qualities that supported their academic success as well as the development of positive, trusting relationships. Implications for research and practice are discussed, including suggestions for peer mentor training and ongoing supports that foster their personal growth toward inclusive mindsets.
key words: peer mentoring, postsecondary education, inclusive education, intellectual disability