From the BFA Chair: A call for volunteers for the Faculty-Student mentor program

April 11, 2014

CU Faculty -

As we move to the end of the first year, we are actively planning for the second year of the Faculty-Student mentor program for first-year students. With 130 faculty and 900 students entering the program this last year, we learned a lot from all of the group efforts. Based on our lessons, we are now planning for a very different and enhanced version of the program for next year that I believe will significantly enhance the entire program for all student participants.

The 2014-2015 program will work as follows –

All incoming first-year students will be notified of the program the first week of May. All students will then have the opportunity to participate. During orientation, we will have faculty at the orientation sessions to answer questions and allow students sign up for a time when they are available during the fall semester. In this way, groups will be organized around times to ensure that every student in a group is available at the same time. Faculty can then choose the time that then matches with their schedule. We will then notify the students of their groups over the summer and at orientation in the fall prior to school starting, we will have a major event where students can meet the faculty and their groups. This process is being coordinated with Admissions and Orientation.

To make it possible for students to meet more people, and to reduce the impact on a group of a student missing a session, the groups will have three faculty working together with groups of 25 students. This will enable us to have back-ups for faculty members and to provide more interaction for the students. This was a common issue and we think this will be a better solution for faculty and students.

The current plan is to have the groups meet more frequently during the fall to build the group connections and then tail off through the year as the students become more acclimated. The exact schedule can be discussed as we get closer. The meetings this year will not focus so much on meeting for a meal although that is still an option – it will focus more on getting together as a group.

So as you can see, many changes are in the works as we have listened to all of you. As such, we are asking for your help and volunteerism to assist in meeting the strategic goal of enhancing student retention through better connection to the CU community. We have a close partnership now with admissions, orientation, career services and student affairs. If you think you would be interested in volunteering for the program, please send me a note and we will get you more information. This is a very important effort by the campus and we need every faculty member to consider this opportunity to spend just a few hours per month to make a huge difference to our first-year population.

To participate in, or get more information on, the 2014-2015 Faculty-Student Mentor program – please e-mail Paul Chinowsky at paul.chinowsky@colorado.edu.

Thanks again for all of your efforts at CU,

Paul Chinowsky

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