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Prospective Academic Mentors
Faculty and Selected Academic Mentors
  Class Funds, Textbooks and Food Service Cards
  Course Credits and Grading
  Mentor Selection, Responsibilities and Learning Objectives
  Mentor Training/Resources and Activity Tracking
Participating Courses

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 strategies,
  • build mentoring relationships with class members, and
  • 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 found beneficial.

Academic Mentor Position Descriptions for:
USEM-University Seminar

USCH 1000-University Scholar Seminar
UCOR 1000-The Arts and the Christian Community
UFDN 1000-Christian Formation

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 following questions:


  • 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 these areas?
  • 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.

Academic mentors will be able to build relationships:

  • Initiate relationships with class members and communicate approachability and availability.

To role model interest in learning:

  • Demonstrate interest in course subject and excitement about learning.
  • Model methods for using multiple perspectives to consider ideas.

To offer academic resources:

  • Gain a basic understanding of learning theory and how to apply theory to academic tasks.
  • Describe and demonstrate effective academic strategies for course related tasks.
  • Lead small group sessions that practice active learning.
  • Offer constructive feedback on writing assignments.

To provide referrals:

  • Be aware of campus resources and be able to make appropriate referrals.