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 Mejia.

Become an I-Persist Mentor

The fall 2020 recruitment process is now closed. Please return in November 2020 for more information abou the Fall 2021 recruitment and hiring timeline.

  • 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. All new applicants will be required to attend information sessions.
  2. The application deadline will be in early February.
  3. All applicants who apply to be a Chemistry or Calculus mentor will be required to take a subject-specific quiz.
  4. Applicants who apply to be a Physics mentor will not be required to take a Physics quiz.
  5. If selected, all 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 March.
  6. All decisions will be made in early April.

If selected, all mentors will be required to attend training days:

  • Spring training (half-day orientation)
  • Fall training
    • These are full days of training (approximately 9am – 5pm)
    • Early move-in for fall training would take place in August

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.

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