New Mentoring Program Designed to Promote Freshman Retention - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

New Mentoring Program Designed to Promote Freshman Retention

Email


by Dylan Yep


College Students

College Students

Although most colleges and universities have retention plans and resources to ensure its students stay in school, it’s been estimated that as many as one in three first-year college students don’t return for their sophomore year. Among disadvantaged populations, this rate is even higher. Facing a wide variety of problems adjusting to college life, from emotional to academic, it seems that current retention plans have room for improvement.

This is where csMentor comes in.

“CsMentor represents a new approach,” said Steve Wattenmaker, CEO of csMentor. “We want to gather information directly from the student, not just about the student.”

Wattenmaker explained that most retention programs run by colleges and universities are impersonal. Messages are often delivered in large group settings, making students aware of on-campus resources, and students are monitored via data-driven solutions.

“Many individuals don’t seek those necessary services until they’ve reached a crisis point. At this point, the odds are stacked against successful intervention,” said Victor Reinoso, a member of the csMentor advisory board. While existing retention programs tend to intervene reactively, csMentor is focused on intervening proactively.

Beginning during the spring semester of a student’s senior year in high school, csMentor begins sending students Mentoring Interactive Programs, or MIPs, on a weekly basis. Accessible online or through a cell phone, these MIPs take about five minutes to complete and include a short video like “Coping with the BIG Separation” or “Professor Bonding,” followed by a multiple-choice survey of 10 questions. Designed by experts with years of college counseling experience, these questions address four developmental areas: health, social adjustment , academic performance, and academic intention.

  House Passes Plan to Pay Community College Tuition

Although responses to specific questions are not shared with a student’s family, the student and family will receive a weekly progress report indicating whether there are troublespots in any of the developmental areas. At that point, students and their families can interact with school resources to ensure that the issue doesn’t reach a crisis point.

Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, csMentor has partnered with the College Success Foundation-DC (CSF) to create a pilot program in which about 100 low-income students were enrolled in the csMentor program. However, instead of sending the progress reports to a student’s family, they’re sent directly to those that work with the students at the College Success Foundation.

“So far, the students are anecdotally reporting that they love the mentoring videos and are participating in the surveys each week. I think it’s a pretty positive initial response,” said Wattenmaker. He added that the results will be evaluated later this fall, and that, if all goes well, CSF could scale up its use of csMentor as soon as early 2013.

CsMentor is  currently available to families for $29.95 a month.

RELATED ARTICLES >>
As Protestors Rally at University of Florida, Penn State Hopes to Steer Clear As protesters circled the University of Florida auditorium where White nationalist Richard Spencer spoke Thursday, Penn State decided to avoid this scenario altogether. Richard Spencer After Penn State denied a request to host Spencer, Cameron...
Ky. Community College in Position to Help Veterans Make Career Transition Kristy Riddell is one semester shy of finishing her associate degree program in business with an accounting track. A single mother of three living in Paducah, Kentucky, Riddell has had her hands full with school and family obligations. “It’s a lot...
Lawsuit Challenges DeVos’ Guidance on Campus Sexual Assault BOSTON —A national women’s rights group is challenging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ new guidance on investigating campus sexual assault. The organization Equal Means Equal and three women who say they were assaulted in college filed a federal ...
California Won’t Make Its Attorney Licensing Exam Easier SAN FRANCISCO —Becoming a lawyer in California isn’t going to get easier after the state Supreme Court decided not to lower the minimum passing score on one of nation’s toughest licensing exams for attorneys. The justices on Wednesday acknowledged...
Semantic Tags:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *