Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Mentoring as Success and Retention Tool

Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Mentoring as Success and Retention Tool

Article excerpt

A 1997 survey conducted at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) demonstrated that "perceived lack of academic and personal support" was a major issue among adult students experiencing academic difficulties. Disproportionately comprised of African-American students aged 30 and over, this group of students at UDM was deemed able to benefit from a new mentoring program geared specifically to help adult learners balance the demands of work, school, and home life. To address the needs of its at-risk students, the Academic Services Unit developed and implemented the Professional Mentor Program Plus. Funded by a 2003 grant from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, this program was aligned with the state of Michigan's mission to increase higher education graduation rates among the states economically disadvantaged students of color.

UDMs Professional Mentor Program Plus was designed around three components: (a) mentor/mentee pairing based on academic interest/need; (b) required professional development workshops coaching students in the means to "independently work through their academic and personal challenges"; and (c) an intergenerational outreach component, whereby both mentors and mentees participated in a mentoring experience through a partnership with a local middle school. …

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