Selection of Academic Mentors
Faculty members select academic mentors by considering students they have been impressed with in class or advising settings. If needed, other faculty members in a department may have advisees to recommend. The program coordinator is also available to assist with mentor selection.
Effective academic mentors typically have the following characteristics:
- Interest in the course content.
- Confidence and interest in initiating relationships with students in the class.
- Approachability and openness to engaging with students from a variety of backgrounds.
- Ability to work collaboratively with a faculty member.
- Ability to commit to spending at least 6 hours a week (which would include attending two class sessions) to their work as an academic mentor.
- When possible, previous class experience with the faculty member.
Responsibilities of Academic Mentors
Broadly stated, academic mentors:
- role model interest in
course content and learning,
- offer resources regarding learning
- build mentoring relationships with class members,
- refer students to other campus services as appropriate.
Specific responsibilities within each of these roles are determined by each
faculty member depending on teaching style, class needs, and abilities of academic mentor. The
descriptions below recommend mentor responsibilities that past faculty members have
Academic Mentor Position Descriptions for:
Arts and the Christian Community
We highly recommend that academic mentor responsibilities are outlined in writing. The Academic
Mentor Responsibilities Sheet can help faculty members do this. When determining the
responsibilities of an academic mentor, consider the
- What academic skills do you believe students need to refine to be successful
in your class? How could the academic mentor work with students on these skills?
- What assignments or learning objectives do students struggle to complete for
your class? What could the academic mentor do to further student learning in
- What kind of peer mentoring and role modeling do you think students in your
class could benefit from in order to meet the learning objectives of your class?
- What unique abilities does your academic mentor have that you would like to
utilize with your class?
Learning Objectives for Academic Mentors
The primary goal of the Student Academic Mentor program is to increase
student learning and academic success among freshman, sophomore and transfer
students. A secondary goal is to provide upper class students with opportunities
to hone their interpersonal, academic, leadership and teaching skills while
working as an academic mentor. Training provides by the program coordinator along with experience with the faculty member will help mentors meet these objectives.
Below are broad learning objectives for student academic mentors who participate in the program.
To build relationships:
- Academic mentors will learn how to initiate helping relationships with class
To act as role models and offer academic
- Academic Mentors will gain a basic understanding of learning theory and how
to apply theory to academic tasks.
- Academic Mentors will learn to instruct students in the use of effective
academic strategies for course related tasks.
- Academic Mentors will learn to lead small group sessions with specific
learning objectives related to academic strategies and/or course content.
To provide referrals:
- Academic mentors will gain a basic understanding of transition issues for
freshman, sophomore and transfer students in university settings.
- Academic mentors will learn how to refer students dealing with transition
issues to appropriate resources.