CALS PALS Peer Mentors

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Peer Assistance for Leadership and Student Success Peer Mentor Program, known as CALS PALS, will help you develop advanced skills in building rapport and individual coaching. As a CALS PALS student mentor, you'll use leadership, communication, problem solving and critical thinking skills, as well as relationship-building skills to assist your peers in making a successful transition to the university. CALS PALS receive on-going training and coaching at weekly meetings, learning how to effectively support, inform, and guide their student mentees with the goal of better preparing them to be academically and developmentally successful.

This competitive for-credit program promotes college-level engagement by introducing incoming and at-risk students to institutional and student support services, as well as other available opportunities. CALS PALS mentors assist with increasing retention by alleviating initial isolation, increasing student involvement and interaction, and providing their mentees with additional encouragement and inspiration. CALS PALS mentors are required to submit assignments on the following: personal and developmental learning goals; monthly student reports; progress reports on student interactions; a reaction paper to an article pertaining to mentorship; a reflection paper on their experience; and a time record log. 

CALS PALS Peer Mentor Responsibilities

Each CALS PALS mentor works with approximately seven to 15 students in the fall semester; approximately six to 10 in the spring. Responsibilities include:

  • Providing support through bi-weekly meetings with assigned students
  • Assisting with the facilitation of group events for students
  • Assisting with a success course
  • Enhancing your skills through the experiences this professional development program offers

Benefits of Being a CALS PALS Peer Mentor

  • Earn two to three units of upper division credit in CALS 393 or 493
  • Complete a UA student engagement competency and activity
  • Work closely with academic advisors in CALS
  • Learn basic counseling skills
  • Enhance your own personal and professional development skills
  • Assist other students with academic and learning strategies
  • Develop professional and meaningful relationships with student mentees
  • Enhance your leadership skills with professional development opportunities

Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 
  • Currently enrolled as a University of Arizona student and will continue enrollment during participation in the program
  • Completed at least one full year of academic courses at the University of Arizona (sophomore status or higher)
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to relate to students from diverse backgrounds
  • Basic knowledge of University of Arizona campus resources
  • Commitment to student success and confidentiality
  • Ability to attend weekly staff meetings on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. throughout the term
  • Ability to attend a full day training orientation prior to the beginning of each term (one for Fall and the other for Spring)

Application Requirements

To apply, you must submit an online application that includes the following materials: 

  • A cover letter that addresses why you are interest in being a college peer mentor, relevant work or leadership experience, and why you are uniquely qualified to serve as a leader and role model to students
  • A current resume that lists relevant on- and off-campus work experiences, as well as academic and campus involvement
  •  A reference, including full name and contact information, from an instructor, academic advisor, leader, or mentor that would be able to talk about your character

Please note that returning CALS PALS peer mentors will not need to submit a cover letter, resume, nor reference. Selected candidates will be notified of their status via email.

Apply To Become a CALS PALS Peer Mentor

You can submit an application to become a CALS PALS peer mentor in March/April or October/November during priority registration for the upcoming term. 

Applications for Spring 2020 are now available. The Spring 2020 application is due by Friday, January 3, 2020.

Completion of an online application for both new applicants and returning mentors, as well as a resume, cover letter, and reference for new applicants are required. Make sure you have all of your application information and materials ready by the time you apply as you will not be allowed to save and return to the application later.

Click here to apply now!

Need More Information About CALS PALS?

For additional information about CALS PALS, contact Nancy Rodriguez-Lorta, senior director of academic advising and student services, at 520-621-3616; or Amanda Armendariz, senior academic advisor, at 520-621-3616.

You can also watch this page for updates about upcoming CALS PALS peer mentor information sessions. These sessions are an opportunity to learn about our peer mentor programs - CALS Connections and CALS PALS.