Last year the Boulder Faculty Assembly (BFA) piloted a student mentorship program in which faculty volunteers ‘adopted’ and periodically met with small groups of new freshman students during for the academic year. This pilot program helped to make a large campus smaller for many of our incoming students and received great reviews from our students and their parents alike. The inaugural program during our last academic year contributed directly to our reputational and student success goals and by all accounts was a huge success.
This year the BFA has expanded their student mentorship program and to-date faculty volunteers have already committed to the mentorship of more than 2,000 incoming freshman for this academic year, and the number of mentees is still increasing. These students represent majors in every department and program at CU-Boulder. However, to ensure that this program can meet this increased demand and fill the valuable role on this campus, we need additional faculty to engage in this important effort. Therefore, I would like to encourage those faculty who have not signed up to be a student mentor to join fellow faculty, Department Chairs, Deans and college administrators in participating in this extraordinary and rewarding effort. A small commitment of two hours per month (two one-hour meetings in September and October, and a one-and-a-half hour meeting per month the rest of the year) can pay huge dividends to the CU-Boulder community and to the students, as well as be personally rewarding. I would also encourage chairs and directors to make a point of acknowledging this service effort in the annual review of our faculty volunteers.
I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of all of our faculty mentors who have put in extraordinary volunteer efforts to promote the success of this program. As we move into the next academic year, we have every reason to believe that the BFA student mentorship program will be a key component in our campus efforts to enhance the student experience, promote retention and to achieve the goal set by the Chancellor to increase our six-year graduation rate to 80 percent by 2020.
In closing, as we begin the new academic year, I want to re-emphasize how grateful I am to our remarkable faculty for their participation in this important program. To volunteer, please contact Paul Chinowsky, BFA Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org with a quick note of interest as soon as possible. I look forward to working with faculty, students and staff to making our upcoming academic year a productive and rewarding year for all.