Publication Details

Dean, B. Amelia., Harden-Thew, K., Austin, K. & Zaccagnini, M. (2015). From the horses' mouths: Reflections on transition from peer leaders. Students Transitions Achievement Retention & Success: STARS Conference (pp. 1-11). Australia


World-wide peer learning programs support students in their transition to university. Peer leader support is distinctive, being closer to the learning experience or transition encountered. This paper explores transition into the first year of university through the reflections of peer leaders. It outlines two synergetic programs at the University of Wollongong (UOW): one supporting high school students in the early stages of transition to university (In2Uni); and the second supporting enrolled university students (PASS). Focus groups were conducted to elicit the voices of leaders reflecting on their own transition and experiences of mentoring peers through transition. The findings suggest peer leaders assist transitioning students to confront change; develop strong social networks; make connections within and across curriculum; and learn how to learn in the new academic context. It was found that peer leaders valued peer support in their own transition (or wished for it) and saw its ongoing significance for others in transition.