University-Wide Mentoring: How Adelphi Achieves It

University-Wide Mentoring: How Adelphi Achieves It

Well-designed mentoring programs can make colleges more welcoming to individuals from all backgrounds, help students prosper, and help people within the college community make real and lasting connections. But in many universities, mentoring is limited in scope, siloed within a specific office, or it may lack wide institutional support.

Adelphi University in New York is changing that—and employing mentoring strategies across campus, across departments and across our community. Here are a few examples:

Award-Winning Student Mentoring

With an emphasis on helping first-year students adjust to the academic and social demands of college, the Adelphi University Mentoring Program promotes leadership skills, goal setting, financial literacy, character building, social development and career skills. Our approach is student-centered, focusing on the unique needs of each mentee—particularly students of color, students who are the first in their family to attend college, veterans and LGBTQIA+ students—through one-to-one working relationships with trained mentors from faculty and staff.

The growth in the program shows how the culture of mentoring has grown. We launched the program in 2014 with 10 participants—five mentors and mentees. By 2021, 225 participants had been through the program. We planted a seed, and it’s growing.

Chotsani West, MA '07 Mentoring Expert and Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

University Mentoring for New Faculty

Mentoring extends beyond students at Adelphi. Adephi’s Faculty Mentoring Academy helps new faculty members acclimate to the campus and community, meet research and publication goals, and stay on track to receiving tenure. “The Faculty Mentoring Academy creates an atmosphere of advocacy and respect, ensuring that all faculty have access to the resources and support that we offer at Adelphi. Faculty members can grow professionally in their careers knowing that they have someone to lean on,” said Dr. Mungai, associate provost for strategic initiatives and graduate studies.

We expect mentors to be that friendly face on campus that you can always go to through your highs and your lows—because they’ve been through it themselves. These are people who are saying, ‘Hey, I’m here. I want to help.

Anne Mungai, PhD Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Graduate Studies

Mentoring at the Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology

The Mentoring Future Psychologists Program provides mentoring for psychology students who identify as part of historically underrepresented groups: Black, Indigenous, people of color, first-generation students, low-income, LGBTQIA+ students and/or students with intersectional identities. The program’s mission is to improve recruitment and retention of these students, guiding them toward careers in psychology

An Honors College Where Alumni Mentors Build Success

Community is an important part of Adelphi’s Honors College, and alumni are active in helping current Honors students apply to top schools or find life-changing internships. Honors College alumni stay connected and supportive, and are eager to provide opportunities and offer guidance. According to former Honors College student Rachel Vacca ’19, Levy Scholar, University of Pennsylvania Law School, “Being able to speak to Honors College alumni who had attended such prestigious law schools was invaluable to me … I was able to enter a top law school with a preexisting network of alumni who were not only willing but eager to help me succeed.”

After graduating from Harvard Law School, I organized a group of Honors College graduates who attended prestigious law schools to serve as mentors for Honors undergraduates. Getting to speak with current students and recent graduates has been such an enriching experience for me.

John Miller ’12 Attorney and Postbaccalaureate Clinical Psychology Researcher

Mentoring Program for Adult Students: Flexible Schedules, Fresh Starts

A dedicated academic adviser in Adelphi’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies mentored working mother Nilda Barrionuevo ’22 and created “an incredible friendship and bond” over the four years it took for Nilda to complete her bachelor’s degree. “Marsha had been my rock since I started at Adelphi,” said Barrionuevo. “I couldn’t have made it through to graduation this May without her and the wonderful faculty and staff who were always there for me.”

Career Mentoring for Neurodivergent Students

The unemployment rate for people on the autism spectrum is 10 times that of the neurotypical population—yet many are highly qualified to launch rewarding careers. In our award-winning Bridges to Adelphi program, neurodivergent students are learning to navigate through the process of landing a job and being successful in the workplace. It takes individualized mentoring and carefully selected internships with engaged corporate partners.

In addition to the above, Adelphi hosts several student-to-student mentoring programs. Our Peer Mentoring Program for Nursing and Public Health students matches junior and senior nursing students who have high GPAs with nursing students who seek guidance and support. Similarly, a Peer Mentoring Program for Communication Sciences and Disorders connects student mentors with student mentees who need one-to-one social and academic guidance.

Adelphi’s University-wide approach to mentoring proves that this critical discipline can benefit many different student populations, faculty groups and academic disciplines across campus—and can become a key component of a successful college experience.

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