The program initially started with 400 students but has since grown to 519. Through this program, first-year students have the opportunity to learn from a peer mentor who helps them navigate the challenges of starting college. Peer mentoring is a high-impact practice shown to increase students’ sense of belonging and drive student success.
“The ultimate goal of the program is to make sure all first-year students who desire to have a mentor are connected with one and supported throughout their first year of college,” says Audrey Bare, Interim Assistant Director for Mentorship at Millersville.
Students register through Mentor Collective to be connected with an upper-class peer mentor for one-on-one guidance and advice. First-year students are able to reflect on personal and professional goals, and gain advice and valuable insights while mentors build their networks and develop skills to become better professionals and leaders. Mentors receive training on how to give useful guidance to new students. Students can use Mentor Collective’s discussion guides and goal-setting activities to foster meaningful conversations with their mentors throughout the year.
Mentor pairs are connected virtually via an online platform. Pairs can communicate in person, via text, phone, Skype, and/or the text relay system in the dashboard. Mentors log conversations in the platform so that administrators can collect data on the topics discussed. These connections are enhanced by a variety of events the Mentorship Office hosts for mentors and mentees each year.
Mentees reported they would be likely to recommend the program to their peers. Mentees also indicated they felt comfortable at school (pre-program rating of 3.82/5 versus end-of-program rating of 3.98/5) and felt like an important member of their university (pre-program rating of 3.43/5 versus end-of-program rating of 3.72/5). Mentors indicated they enjoyed their experiences as mentors (6.6/7) and felt more comfortable at school from the beginning (4.62/5) to the end (4.65/5) of the program.
The Mentorship Office is actively recruiting peer mentors for the 2021-22 First Year Mentoring Program. Interested sophomore or junior peer mentors can register here.
Mentors and mentees in both online and on-campus mentoring programs will have more opportunities to connect with one another during the year-long program, “Mentorship Matters: Celebrating Student Mentoring at Millersville,” which will launch this Fall 2021. This program seeks to celebrate the great work of current programs, excite new students to participate, and encourage others on campus to start new mentoring programs. The festivities will begin with a Kickoff Event and Mentorship Fair on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.
To learn more about the Mentor Collective at Millersville University or join, contact Audrey Bare, Interim Assistant Director for Mentorship at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-871-7655.