Mentor Program

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The purpose of the Service to Success Mentor Program is to create proactive services and transitional support so that the responsibility for a successful transition need not fall upon the returning individual alone. Student veterans frequently seek contacts with other veterans as a way to validate their experiences and aid in the successful transition to the college. By creating the Service to Success Mentor Program, faculty and staff are provided opportunities and tools to better understand the kinds of military experiences that may be absent from their own set of experiences of knowledge base. In turn, learning about service members experiences compliment a campuses’ broader commitment to diversity and social understanding. As the needs of veterans transitioning from the military to college extend beyond required documentation and making sure educational benefits are assessed, mentoring student veterans will provide the much needed partnership that can: 1) assist student veterans with successful transitions 2) honor student veterans perspectives , and 3) create a seamless transition so student veterans can navigate the path of higher education and the challenges that it entails.

Mentors (Faculty/Staff/Alumni/Student Veterans):

Service to Success Mentor Program volunteers are needed. Student veterans, faculty, staff and alumni can assist incoming and current student veterans and military members’ transition into the college through individual meetings and e-mail correspondence. This is an informal mentoring program that matches veterans’ students to faculty and staff members. Your time and care are the only requirements. The amount of time you commit is at your discretion! Mentors will have their names and contact information posted on the veteran’s website for the student to select the mentor that best fits them.

Mentees (Students)

The Service to Success Mentorship Program was established to ensure that student veterans have the proper guidance through their educational journey by being connected with experienced student, staff, and faculty members at WVU Parkersburg. Mentoring is an extremely powerful tool for student development. A mentor can assist in expanding educational, career and personal goals while helping to resolve issues and problems before they become serious. This program will assist in reducing achievement gaps that exist for student veterans, increase diversity awareness at WVU Parkersburg, its mission and the importance of student veterans as members of our campus community.

The programming series offered to the student veterans include a variety of group activities, discussion, and events committed to bringing about mutual understanding and respect among all individuals and groups at West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Each of the 11 programs will focus on a theme related to the goals of the project and are described as follows:

Timeframe Description  Expenditures Number Served
September 2013 Session 1: Meet and Greet
Participants meet in the Deans Conference to familiarize themselves with peers, faculty and staff
Small reception for participants 20 Students, faculty and staff
September-December 2013 Session 2: Meeting with mentors and mentees
Mentors and mentees should meet two times a month during the semester. Address short-term and long-term and long-term goals/progress/challenges
None 20 Students, faculty and staff
 September-December 2013 Session 3 Meeeting with mentors
Identify areas of effectiveness and improvement and modify program accordingly
None 20 Students, faculty and staff
 October 2013 Session 4: Teambuilding
A event that is designed to be fun, fast, and challenging. Promotes organizational, teamwork, and leadership skills
Materials and Supplies 20 Students, faculty and staff
 December 2013 Session 5: Wrap up of fall semester
Participants meet to celebrate the end of their semester and to reflect on their experiences
Small reception for participants 20 Students, faculty and staff
 January 2014 Session 6: Diversity Fest None 20 Students, faculty and staff
 January-May 2014 Session 7: Meeting with mentors
Identify areas of effectiveness and improvement and modify program accordingly
None 20 Students, faculty and staff
 January-May 2014 Session 8: Meeting with mentors and mentees
Mentors and mentees should meet two times a month during the semester and continue to address short-term and long-term goals/progress/challenges
None 20 Students, faculty and staff
 March 2014 Session 9: Challenge Course Program
Course made up of various high and low rope problems that create solving initiatives. In turn, every obstacle can be related to a challenge to a college experience.
 Materials and Supplies 20 Students, faculty and staff
 April 2014 Session 10: Community Service
Students work as a team and choose a service activity in the Parkersburg or surrounding community.
 Materials and Supplies 20 Students, faculty and staff
 May 2014 Session 11: End of Year Wrap-Up
All participants will have an end to the semester cook-out location to be determined. This will allow them to reflect on their experiences during their first year at WVUP
 Supplies for cookout and activities before finals week 20 Students, faculty and staff

Evaluation

In order to measure the extent to which the Military to Riverhawk Mentoring Program achieves its goals, several different methods will be used. Details are below:

  • Peer and faculty/staff mentors will utilize and evaluation sheet in order to periodically assess and adapt activities to ensure they are as effective as they need to be.
  • Peer and faculty/staff mentors will meet monthly to identify and document areas for improvement and share results about what was more or less effective.
  • An end of the year evaluation will be distributed to student veterans. The survey will be used to evaluate the extent to which each participant felt that programming series helped them to be successful.
  • Students transcripts will be reviewed by the Veterans Advocate in May 2014 and academic rates will be determined.
  • Final results will be complied by the end of May 2012.

Goals

The Military to Riverhawk Mentoring Program will initially consist of a planning phase for the summer 2013 semester and implementation phase in fall 2013. It will offer a series of six programs over the course of the 2013-2014 academic year. The goals expected outcomes and completion timeframe of the programming series are as follows:

Goals  Expected Outcomes Timeframe for completion
1. The programming series will have a positive impact on retention rates of student veterans. At least 80% of students will report that they plan to return to WVUP. This will be self-reported by students in May 2014
2. The programming series will have a positive impact on a student veterans academic standing. At least 80% of students will have cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 by the end of the Spring 2014 semester. May 2014
3. Student Veterans will report that participation in the mentorship program and the programming series helped them to be successful. At least 80% of student veterans will report that their participation in the mentorship program helped them to be more successful as a student. May 2014