In transition from high school to college, students become engaged with an overload of experiences and a need to adapt quickly. Although the spring semester is soon coming to a close, there are several programs available to those needing a mentor or those wanting to become one.
One of the first groups available on campus is geared toward incoming freshmen, named the First Year Experience. Helping students new to the college experience, the program requires students to choose a seminar of their interest, in which they master skills in writing, communication and research in the university environment and pace.
Along with taking this course, peer mentors are available for students as a guide to cope with the new stresses and tasks within their academic career. As students touch base with their mentors, they can learn what ways are best for themselves to manage their courses and efficiently work with their advisers.
An additional program on campus is the Millersville Mentoring Alliance Program. This program incorporates the guidance of faculty, staff, alumni and local professionals. This program is open to all students, and permits the opportunity to learn from an individual specifically geared towards one’s major or academic interests.
“Staff and student mentors teach how to manage courses and time management,” says Dahaira Martinez, the Graduate Assistant for MMAP.
In order to become a mentor in MMAP, individuals must complete an application online, fulfill training sessions and undergo a confidential background check. Upon being paired with a mentee, the sharing of experiences and guidance can begin. Activities are held on campus in support of guidance and
include cosponsoring events held on campus.
One event included bringing former Chief Editor Susan L. Taylor to speak about her organization, The National CARES Mentoring Movement, aimed toward the breakdown of poverty among African-Americans in families. Taylor visited on April 9, 2015, and spoke of her experience as an author, editor and facilitator in her goals to incorporate more African American individuals as mentors and role models in school systems across the country.
When comparing MMAP to student-advisor interactions, Martinez mentioned, “It is beneficial to students. Advisers often have a large number of students to help and cannot provide enough individual attention. It also allows students to talk to people who are inclined to their major and helps you walk into the major you need.”
According to Mentoring.org, there are benefits to both the mentor and mentee within interactions together. For the mentee, some of these interactions include having the opportunity to form relationships with adults, obtain information and insight on career decisions, learn new techniques for studying and further develop life skills.
Benefits for mentors include being able to increase self-confidence, offer a perspective and relatability that a mentee may not have encountered yet as well as building management and leadership skills.
“From my personal experience, some students have experienced a raise in grades and GPA, and learned new techniques to study for classes,” said Martinez.
Interested individuals can find further information on MMAP at (717) 871-5361 or visit Lyle Hall, Room 260. Additional information to become a peer mentor is available through Housing and Residential Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.