I-PERSIST Mentor Program


About the 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, first-Year students in Calculus I, Chemistry I and Physics I are divided into small groups, which meet weekly with an undergraduate student mentor for informal sessions that focus on skill-building and subject-specific academic support. Mentors have demonstrated mastery of academic content and undergo special training to provide support in transition to academic life at Rensselaer. 

For more information, contact Assistant Dean, Lesly Mejia.


Become an I-Persist Mentor

The fall 2020 Recruitment process will begin on November 18, 2019. Please see below for more information about the program and how to apply to be a mentor.


Peer Mentor Responsibilities

  • Mentors will conduct 2 mentoring sessions per week for the entire fall 2020 semester (approximately 8-10 students per session)
  • Mentors will attend one weekly supervisory meeting with subject faculty and Student Success
  • Mentors are required to hold 2 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 – 10 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 for fall 2020

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


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

Application Process

  1. All new applicants will be required to attend 1 of 3 information sessions. Information sessions will be held on the following dates:
    1. Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 9:00am. Location will be the CBIS Auditorium.
    2. Friday, December 13, 2019 at 4:00 pm. Location will be the CBIS Auditorium.
    3. Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 4:30 pm. Location will be the CBIS Auditorium.
  2. Applications are due January 26, 2020 at 11pm
  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 February, the second interview will be held by subject-specific Faculty in March.
  6. All decisions will be made in early April 2020


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

  • Spring training: April 30, 2020 (half-day training)
  • Fall training (tentative): August 26, 2020 – August 29, 2020
    • These are full days of training (approximately 9am – 5pm)
    • Early move-in for fall training would take place on August 25, 2020 (tentative)
    • To apply, please click here.

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