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Creating a Culture of Mentoring on Campus

Every college wants to boost diversity on campus. Every college wants to help their students succeed in the classroom and after graduation. And in our COVID era of disrupted learning, every college wants to help students build stronger relationships.

Higher education leaders are increasingly offering mentoring programs as a solution for all three of these challenges. Well-designed mentoring programs that have wide institutional support can make colleges more welcoming to students from all backgrounds, help students prosper, and make real and lasting connections.

When faculty and staff mentor students, they can offer a glimpse into the unspoken rules of college. Academic life requires knowledge that may not be readily available, especially to first-generation college students.

As someone who has developed mentoring programs for 21 years, I’ve noted that some leaders don’t fully grasp all the work that goes into successful mentoring. You can’t simply expect older students, alumni volunteers or faculty and staff to show up ready to be a mentor. Mentoring, like teaching, is a learned skill and does not have a one-size-fits-all approach.

Originally posted at Faculty Focus