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Selecting Mentors and Tutors Invitations to apply for peer mentor positions were mailed to all current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. More than 60.

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Presentation on theme: "Selecting Mentors and Tutors Invitations to apply for peer mentor positions were mailed to all current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. More than 60."— Presentation transcript:

1 Selecting Mentors and Tutors Invitations to apply for peer mentor positions were mailed to all current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. More than 60 applications were received for approximately 30 positions, in part because the program pays well. Selection criteria being applied includes GPA and demonstrated leadership and communications skills. The latter has been difficult to assess because many are young and still trying to establish themselves within their academic programs. To help, we are soliciting recommendations from faculty and staff regarding peer mentors. Tutors have been hired using similar criteria. Faculty mentors have been less difficult to recruit; their core represents the co-PIs on the current project, and others simply have a long-standing commitment to undergraduate education. Likewise, there has been little difficulty in finding interested practicing engineer mentors. Many are long-time supporters of the College and some already participate on College advisory boards. Some are concerned about the time commitment involved, particularly with respect to traveling. However, not all interaction between mentors and mentees need be on- site. Communication with students via and phone calls will in many cases accomplish similar objectives. Framing an Engineering Residential College J. Nicklow, L. Gupta, J. Mathias, J. Tezcan, K. Pericak-Spector, R. Caffey, B. Chrisman, C. Pearson, R. Kowalchuk, and E. Lewis College of Engineering, Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), Carbondale, IL 62901; Phone: (618) ; Background The SIUC College of Engineering will open an Engineering Residential College in fall In doing so, we aim to create and sustain a strong, living-learning community where students can easily access resources and become part of a support network for one another. Building Blocks Freshmen and sophomores live on campus Three residence halls dedicated to engineering and technology students Blocked sections of early Math, English, and Speech Communications courses offered in the residence hall Mentoring by designated peers, faculty, and practicing engineers from industry Peer mentors reside on floors with mentees in the Residential College Free on-site tutoring provided Overcoming Challenges Getting Other Units on Campus to Buy In After negotiation, University Housing has reserved the necessary space to form the foundation of the Residential College. Space has been allocated for freshmen and sophomore housing, peer mentor housing, and instruction of courses in the residence halls. The College will be required to pay for the use of space for engineering-designated sections of courses, but in a grand scheme, this is a very cost-effective investment. Housing has also agreed to help train the project’s peer mentors. Mentors will participate in a one week training course that precedes the fall semester and will take a 1- hour course during the fall term that focuses on interpersonal relationships, counseling, and conflict resolution. The PIs have also negotiated with Departments external to the College to provide engineering-designated sections of corresponding courses and to offer these courses in the residence halls. These units were very amenable; the most significant obstacle to overcome was convincing these Departments that we are not trying to isolate our students from others on campus, but rather that we are building a cohesive learning community. STUDENT Engineering Residential College SIUC Engineering Engineering Speech Comm.EnglishMathematics Logistical Concerns The goal of this mentoring program is to provide multi-level support and guidance to first and second year students One concern focuses on how to promote effective interaction between the various levels of mentors to improve likelihood of student success. We plan to arrange regular meetings between peer and faculty mentors and discuss student progress. Practicing engineer mentors will also be invited to attend via conference call. Next Steps The Residential College will be fully functional in fall Students will be invited to provide feedback regarding the new program, which will enable assessment and help determine areas of needed improvement. Acknowledgments This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No


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