The STEM pathway and student retention: Lessons applied and best practices through peer mentoring

Carita Harrell, David G. Capco

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This work introduces methods that aid in freshman retention (in the transition from high school and to remain in the university of origin) and orient them towards a successful career in science. Specific examples of successful approaches are given as well as detailed plans for how to engage these students. Pitfalls as well as success are described. In addition this work provides a detailed description of how to develop the students into a cohort that exhibits comradery. Three types of cohort form, those within the freshman class, those among the upperclassmen and those between the freshmen and upperclassmen. The program works because the social reality is that the peer mentor has a better repertoire with the first semester freshmen than the faculty or staff and assists with student success. Factors such as financial aid, policy, and support systems influence student success. In the sciences, students often struggle with the content and adjusting to the college experience. Research states that a mentorship program supports retention as well as enhances the student experience during college. This program creates a cohort group among the upperclassmen mentors and freshmen and provides leadership development for all involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages121
ISBN (Electronic)9783030658656
ISBN (Print)9783030658632
StatePublished - Apr 12 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Career choice
  • Higher education
  • Mentoring program
  • Mentorship program
  • Peer mentoring
  • STEM majors
  • Science careers
  • Science majors
  • Student cohorts
  • Student retention
  • Student success in college
  • Transition to college

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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