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, many first-year students who are registered for Calculus I, Chemistry I or Physics I during the fall semester of their first year at RPI are assigned into small groups, which meet weekly throughout the 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 the Office of First Year Experience

Become an I-Persist Mentor

Selection of the Fall 2022 mentors is complete. Please contact the Office of First Year Experience to express interest in working with the program in the future. 

  • 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 staff
  • Mentors are required to hold two study hours per week to provide extra help to mentees
  • Mentors must prepare for their weekly sessions; on average, 8 - 10 hours of work total per week

In order to be considered, all candidates must:

  • Be in good judicial and academic standing at Rensselaer
  • 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 earn two academic credits in the subject area for which they mentor. 

Applications have closed for Fall 2022 positions. Contact fye@rpi.edu about this opportunity.

Step 1:

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

  • Wednesday, December 8, 2021 @ 4pm via WebEx –  view recording here
  • Wednesday, January 12, 2022 @ 4pm via WebEx

The priority deadline will be on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 11:59pm. If you are interested in applying after the priority deadline, please contact the Office of First Year Experience at FYE@rpi.edu. 

Step 2:

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.

  •  Applicants who apply to be a Physics mentor do not take a Physics quiz.
  • Only first-time applicants are required to take a quiz. If you are interested in taking a quiz after the January 30 priority deadline, please contact the Office of First Year Experience at FYE@rpi.edu. 
  • Review sheets are not provided for the quizzes.

Step 3:

Selected applicants will interview with Student Life staff in mid-February, if selected, the second interview will be held by subject-specific faculty in late February/early March.

If selected, all mentors will be required to complete training. Training will consist of remote and in-person sessions. Below are our tentative training dates (these dates are subject to change):

  • Friday, April 29, 2022: in-person mentor orientation
  • Week of June 6, 2022: remote training session
  • Week of June 13, 2022: remote training session
  • Week of June 27, 2022: remote training session
  • Week of July 11, 2022: remote training session
  • August 26/27 – August 27/28: 2 days of in-person training; we will arrange for mentors to return to campus early.

We strongly encourage mentors to plan ahead to avoid conflicts on training days. Training is required to be completed in its entirety prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Mentors will not be exempted from August I-PERSIST training for any Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond (NRB) activities.

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