Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sarah Nielsen


Disabled Persons; Occupatonal Therapy -- methods; Students


Peer mentorship programs are one approach to assist students with disabilities to be more successful within a college community. One such program is the Student Organization for Accessibility and Resources (SOAR) which focuses on the occupations of education, social participation, and leisure activities in conjunction with assisting students in identifying available resources. However, there is limited understanding regarding these types of programs. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of the student peer mentor’s overall experience, how the environment affected their experience, and the occupation of peer mentorship. Researchers utilized a phenomenological qualitative research method completing six participant interviews. Findings concluded that the peer mentor’s experience was impacted by engagement in personal preparation, meaningful occupations, employment of the therapeutic relationship, and viewing the mentee holistically. Peer mentors developed professional skills as they navigated challenges. Role navigation was initially difficult when engaging in the occupation of a peer mentor. The physical and social environments facilitated the peer mentorship process; however, mentors would prefer more formal orientation processes. Peer mentorship programs did have a positive impact on the development of student occupational therapists and should continue program refinement with the following recommendations: a) the orientation process, b) marketing the SOAR program, and c) providing interpersonal strategies for mentors.