Mexican American Studies Mentor Program

 

What Is the Mentor Program?

The MAS Mentor Program was established in Fall 2008 as an effort to increase student success and retention rates in our department's lower-division general education courses. Every semester, we pair one graduate student with each section of MAS 10A and 10B (as well as some sections of MAS 74 "Public Speaking") in order to foster a greater sense of community among the students and to facilitate an extended student-centered learning environment in and out of the classroom.

 

Mentor Activities

The graduate mentors hold weekly office hours; lead study sessions; facilitate academic skills workshops on note-taking and essay-writing; and organize community-building activities, such as movie nights or field trips to local community events that relate to class.  In turn, the faculty guide the mentors, share a behind-the-scenes glimpse into teaching at the college level, and even help them to develop a guest lecture in the course.

 

Program Successes

The Mentor Program has been a great success! According to recent data, 93% of students successfully complete the course with a grade of “C+” or higher, up from 85% before the program came into existence. 97% of students report that working with the Mentor was “somewhat to very helpful” in meeting their needs as students, and 89% find that it was "somewhat to very important" to their overall performance in the class. As a result, other departments in the College of Social Science are interested in adopting the program we have created.

 

How to Get Involved

Graduate students who are interested in being part of the program should contact the program director, Dr. Magdalena Barrera. We are always looking to hire dedicated, passionate students who can inspire and support the undergraduates in our courses!