Navigating the college experience can be daunting for new students; a mentorship program launching this fall, Bronco Navigators, aims to help.
Bronco Navigators will help incoming freshmen and transfer students find their way at Cal Poly Pomona by linking them one-on-one with continuing students who will share their background, interests, and aspirations.
Mentees will regularly connect with their mentor throughout the academic year and use an online platform for discussion guides and goal setting. The program will help students, especially those from underserved and underrepresented backgrounds, navigate many aspects of the college experience, from work-life balance to networking. Students can also reach out at any time to their mentor with questions about campus life or important deadlines.
“Navigating your first year can be overwhelming, so we hope that our mentors will be the bridge to connect mentees to resources and programs that are essential during their first year,” said Dora Lee, director of academic support & learning services. “Who can better understand where a first-year student is coming from than a sophomore, junior, or senior student who was in the same place not too long ago? We want to meet our first-year students’ needs wherever we can, and our mentors will help us achieve that.”
The free online program, developed in collaboration with Mentor Collective and through a campus partnership between the divisions of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, is part of the university’s strategic goal to enhance student learning, development, and success.
Bronco Navigators will recruit mentors and mentees starting this summer, and more information regarding recruitment will be released soon.
When mentors and incoming freshmen and transfer students first enter the program, they complete an online survey through Mentor Collective to help ensure the efficacy of the matching process, further increasing the likelihood of a successful match.
For mentors, the program offers a unique opportunity to grow their leadership skills in preparation for future careers, as well as give back to the Cal Poly Pomona community by making a direct impact.
“As beneficial as the program will be for incoming students, current students who sign up to be a mentor have a lot to gain. Mentorship looks great on a resume, and mentors earn a badge for their LinkedIn profile as well – it lets employers know you have leadership experience,” said Janetta Dismuke, director for first year and transition experiences.
For more information about the Bronco Navigators program, visit the website.