I-PERSIST - Mentoring in Chemistry, Calculus and Physics

Logo for the I-PERSIST mentoring program

The I-PERSIST (Integrative - Program for Education, Research, and Support Involving Science and Technology) Mentor program is an initiative of the School of Science and the Division of Student Life. As part of the program, all first-year students who are registered for Calculus I, Chemistry I or Physics I during their first semester are divided into small groups, which meet weekly throughout the fall semester. These sessions are run by an undergraduate student mentor and focus on skill-building and subject-specific academic support. Mentors have demonstrated mastery of academic content and undergo special training to provide support in transitioning to college and academic life at Rensselaer.

For more information, contact Assistant Dean Lesly Clay.

Become an I-Persist Mentor

The fall 2021 recruitment process is now open! Please see below for more information as well as important dates and deadlines.

  • Mentors will conduct two mentoring sessions per week (approximately 8-10 students per session)
  • Mentors will attend one weekly supervisory meeting with subject faculty and Student Success
  • Mentors are required to hold two hours of “study hours” per week throughout the fall semester to provide extra help to mentees
  • Mentors must prepare for their weekly sessions; on average, ten hours of work total per week

In order to be considered, all candidates must:

  • Be in good judicial and academic standing at Rensselear
  • Demonstrate strong academic performance in the subjects that you are applying to mentor
  • Must be enrolled as a full-time, undergraduate student

Please note: Although candidates may apply to mentor multiple subjects, they will only be selected to mentor one subject.

Mentors will receive two 4000-level academic credits in the subject area for which they mentor. 

1.   New applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an information session. Live information sessions will be held on the following dates:

o   Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 6pm (eastern time) via WebEx 

Watch the recorded session here 

o   Thursday, December 3, 2020 @ 6pm (eastern time) via WebEx (https://rensselaer.webex.com/meet/mejial)

*Information sessions will be recorded and made available to students who are unable to attend one of the sessions listed above.

2.   The priority application deadline will be on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 11:59pm.

If you are interested in applying after the February 21 deadline, please contact Lesly Mejia at mejial@rpi.edu.

3.   All applicants who apply to be a Chemistry or Calculus mentor will be required to take a subject-specific quiz. If you apply for both subjects, you will be required to take both quizzes. At the end of the process, you will be selected to mentor only one subject.

If the priority deadline has already passed, please contact Lesly Mejia mejial@rpi.edu to set up a day and time for your quiz.

4.   Applicants who apply to be a Physics mentor will not be required to take a Physics quiz.

5.   If selected, applicants will be required to attend 2 interviews. The first interview will be with Student Life in mid/late February, the second interview will be held by subject-specific Faculty in late February/early March.

6.   Decisions will be made in early March.

If selected, all mentors will be required to complete training. Training will consist of virtual modules as well as virtual live sessions. If permitted, we will hold portions of training in-person during late August. More information will be available in mid-spring.

Please note: You will not be exempt from fall I-PERSIST training for any Navigating Rensselear and Beyond (NRB) activities. If you become a mentor, you will have to find other students to replace you at any NRB activities that you are a part of.

Apply here now!

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