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How Is Mentoring Proven to Be Beneficial to Students and Their Future?

Looking to professional journals, magazines, and popular print, one quickly notices several reoccurring themes about the 27 April, 2009college students include:

  • When mentoring programs are fully supported and have the appropriate infrastructure (clear program design and planning, effective management, guidelines for operation, and appropriate means to measure effectiveness), these programs make positive and constructive difference for all participants.
  • When mentoring has been employed as a means of assisting college students from under-represented and/or under-served populations with appropriate support, management, and sensitivity and cultural competence, students achieve, persist, and graduate at highe27 April, 2009rams in business, educational, and medical settings, the field is in the beginning stages of defining itself as well as implementing much needed research into program outcome and best practice across different populations and settings.

What Has the IU Experience Been With Mentoring?

The Office for Mentoring Services and Leadership Development is formed from two previously existing programs, The Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence (FASE) program and the Office for Strategic Mentoring. Within the histories of these two programs, much success with a variety of mentoring outreach programs has been achieved in direct benefit to Indiana University students and their futures. Some of these are listed below.

Personal, Social, and Cultural Development

At IU, the FASE and OSM Programs have assisted students from under-represented and/or under-served backgrounds to provide mentoring experience as both protégés and mentors. Through these two programs, students have:

  • received support in making a smooth personal, social, and academic transition from high school to college;
  • benefited from the advice and experience o27 April, 2009as of faculty and staff mentors; and,
  • had the opportunity to participate in programs that support and celebrate diversity, develop leadership potential, and provide connection to community
  • and community service.

Academic Development

The mentoring initiatives of both FASE and the OSM, have directly supported student academic achievement and development through:

  • brining students, faculty, and staff together in programs aimed towards helping students enhance and apply academic skills and strategies for college success, career development, and life-long learning;
  • bringing students into high quality peer mentoring as well as faculty and staff mentoring relationships; and
  • bringing students in contact with people, services, and information that directly connect their college living and learning experience to future personal and professional success.

Leadership and Professional Development

Both the FASE and OSM Programs have implemented initiatives designed to assist students in realizing their full leadership and professional potential. Mentoring initiatives have supported this kind of development through:

  • creating opportunities for students to be recipients of service as protégés as well as service providers as peer mentors;
  • supporting students in developing a set of paraprofessional mentoring skills that have direct marketability and potential to provide a unique set of qualifications for professional employment; and
  • providing documentation of the leadership and professional development students have achieved through letters of recommendation.

How Will OMSLD Programs Continue These Traditions?

In summary, both of the programs that have come together to form the new Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development have distinguished themselves by creating mentoring opportunities through which students were able to grow, learn, and mature through their living and learning experience at IU.

The vision, mission, and goal statement for the OMSLD clearly states that mentoring initiatives and opportunities will be a part of the new program for the same reasons as noted above.

OMSLD programs will provide unique contribution to the highest quality University efforts to create a stronger and more diverse campus community, will better prepare students for life and work in a diverse and global society, and will support a common future in enhanced achievement and success for all.

Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs
Indiana University, Bloomington

Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development
A unit of the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs
Eigenmann Hall South Room 619
Bloomington, Indiana 47406-7511, Tell: 812.855.3540, Fax: 812. 812-856-0445
Last updated: February 5, 2011 | Comments: smithpd@indiana.edu
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