Culturally responsive mentoring for psychology students who identify as part of traditionally underserved groups.

The mentorship program in the Derner School of Psychology provides historically excluded students, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), first-generation, low-income, LGBTQIA+, and/or students with intersectional identities with guidance and mentorship from PhD students in Clinical Psychology. The purpose of the mentorship program is to improve the recruitment and retention of students who identify as part of a historically underrepresented group in graduate programs within psychology and/or psychology-related careers through culturally responsive mentoring.

The MFP program is not an academic program, although course guidance could occasionally be provided. The program’s focus is to:

  1. Support Derner psychology undergraduates as they plan a career path
  2. Provide meaningful guidance to mentees for navigating challenges, discovering opportunities, and achieving goals
  3. Emphasize skill-building and professional growth in a supportive and open environment utilizing a culturally responsive mentoring framework

Program Overview

Mentees meet in a group setting six times per year (three per semester) and have weekly individual meetings with their assigned mentor. The purpose of group meetings is to create a cohort in which mentors and mentees can exchange information and emotional support, share learning experiences, discuss difficulties, and problem-solve together. Group meetings will have a partial agenda (see below) and allow time for emerging topics as needed. The purpose of one-on-one meetings is to promote a meaningful interpersonal mentor-mentee relationship and provide opportunities for mentees to learn first-hand how to navigate academic and social challenges and successes from a successful diverse graduate student.

The mentor will guide conversations and take a mentee’s individual needs and intersectionality into account, as well as Derner and University-wide requirements (e.g., course registration periods, course deadlines, etc.).

Requirements and Expectations

  • Students who are interested in being mentored must submit a brief application and complete an initial interview. You will be contacted after submitting your application.
  • Mentors and mentees must commit to at least one year and/or for as long as a mentee is part of the program.
  • All participants are expected to attend group and individual meetings and stay in communication.
  • In-person meetings are required, and regular check-ins are recommended. Phone, zoom, and email conversations are encouraged, but they should not replace in-person meetings.

Group Meeting Topics

  • Understanding disparities in education and behavioral health among BIPOC individuals
  • Understanding how to identify graduate programs that match your professional goals and interests, and understanding the differences between areas of psychology and various graduate degrees
  • Personal Statements and CVs
  • Resume building/problem-solving: research and clinical experience (finding a lab, etc.)
  • Recommendation letters
  • Learning about financial resources for graduate applications and GRE testing
  • GRE preparation
  • Financial aid resources for graduate school
  • Self-care skills to manage the process of graduate school applications and graduate school challenges

Program Coordinators

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