We have been very successful this year with more than 1,700 students signing up for the Faculty-Student Mentor Program. However, this means we need more faculty to help us as volunteer mentors. This is a small commitment with great paybacks for the students, for you and for the CU-Boulder community.
The 2014-2015 program will work as follows –
- All first-year students 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 30 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, but expect a 90-minute meeting with your group every other week for the first couple of months and then we will tail off after that. 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. Remember, we are having three faculty work together to accommodate schedules where somebody has to travel of if somebody can’t make a meeting.
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-Boulder 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.
Thanks again for all of your efforts at CU-Boulder,
Paul Chinowsky, BFA Chair