The Lees-McRae College Retention Committee has established a mentorship program to enhance retention efforts at the College and further engage students within the College and greater community.
The Mentorship Program has grown from the Retention Committee and the early intervention sub-group of the committee that reaches out to specific students who may be “at risk” of failing courses or withdrawing from college.
“[In the sub-group], the thought came up that a college mentor might help to focus, personalize, and make pro-active all this outreach that we struggle to get right. The committee observed that a student might need an ‘agent’ to work on his or her behalf, to bring the student together with appropriate resources of which the student may not be aware,” said John Keener, vice president for enrollment management. “We feel that such a mentor could take a purely personal approach to the student’s well-being, since the mentor is not the student’s academic advisor, teacher or coach.”
Suggested responsibilities for mentors include contacting the students every couple of weeks just to check in, giving the student contact information for emergencies, and keeping an up-to-date list of the student’s “support web” including the student’s academic advisor, work-study supervisor, coach, RA, RD or close faculty member.
Mentors will maintain an intentionally non-official relationship with the student, but will check in periodically and help to facilitate solutions when difficulties arise.
Currently the team is compiling a list of alumni and friends of the College who are willing to participate in the program. They then will pair students with mentors from similar geographic regions, similar career field interests or other relevant criteria.
Anyone interested in participating in the Mentorship Program at Lees-McRae College is encouraged to contact Dr. John Keener, vice president for enrollment management, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 898-8723.