Graduate Mentor Program
Academic mentoring services are offered to targeted students (e.g., first year EOP and PAP). Graduate Mentors (GMs) receive training prior to mentoring students. Mentors are not academic advisors but work with academic advisors to ensure student success. GM's are assigned to students before classes begin. Students are introduced to their GM's and to other academic support and retention services at a special seminar focused on student success before classes begin. Even when a student is excelling academically, the GM is there to help students reach beyond their coursework to experience all the University has to offer.
We envision a culture of student excellence where participating students achieve their full academic potential and where mentoring services contribute to retention, persistence, and timely graduation in 4-5 years. To fulfill this vision, mentors will collaborate with academic advisors and other campus personnel to conduct meaningful mentoring experiences.
The program mission is to deliver world-class and empirically-based academic mentoring services that enable the University to fulfill its mission of student excellence, retention, and timely graduation.
Mentoring services are designed to retain students and to provide them with sufficient academic skills that will ensure their timely graduation by:
- Listening to students’ concerns and issues before connecting them with the most appropriate campus resources
- Teaching students how to solve problems in a timely manner
- Empowering students to be their best advocate
- Advocating for students as needed
Mentoring services include, for example:
- Academic enrichment workshops
- Assistance with study abroad applications
- Group mentoring sessions
- Individual mentoring sessions
- Information dissemination
- Personal development workshops
Students eligible to participate in the Academic Mentoring Program are:
- First-year admitted students identified as Educational Opportunities Program (EOP) students (see admitted letter)
- First-year admitted students who are recipients of the President’s Award (PAP) (see admitted letter)
- First-year admitted African-American, Latino/a, and Native American students
- First-year admitted students who are first in family to attend college
- First-year admitted students from low-sending counties
- ACT scores and receipt of admissions fee-waivers are considered
Other students (e.g., transfer, probation, RISE, Illinois Promise) may request an academic mentor as space allows. Because of budget limitations, mentoring for students after their second year is limited to students with the most need. College Liaisons may recommend students at any level for participation with approval from the Associate Dean/Director or designee.
As a result of participating in the Academic Mentoring Program, students will be able to:
- Identify multiple campus resources to answer questions or to solve problems they may be experiencing.
- Identify multiple campus programs and services that can help them achieve their academic goals.
- Identify multiple key contacts in their college when declaring a major.
- Wallace Southerland III, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director