Archive for Friday, August 26, 2011

Office of Student Life launches mentoring program

August 26, 2011

Baker University’s Office of Student Life has launched a new program, funded through AmeriCorps Kansas and Kansas Campus Compact, for 2011-12.

Serve 2 Succeed is a mentoring program that will match sophomore, junior or senior peer mentors with first-year students focusing on retention and community engagement/volunteer services.

“I am interested to see how this volunteer program connects to retention efforts,” said Brett Bruner, director of student life and campus coordinator for Serve 2 Succeed.

The 10 mentors for the upcoming year are Lauren Amrein, junior political science major, Topeka; Parker Johnson, sophomore psychology major, McPherson; Denesha Jones, sophomore pre-nursing major, St. Louis; Justin Lane, junior accounting and business major, Gardner; Chloe Mercer, junior sociology major; Lawrence; Teresa Morse, sophomore sociology major, Gardner; Paige Queen, sophomore business and public relations major, Paola; Salyna Webber, junior business and marketing major, Wichita; Frank Whittier, junior math and physics major, Topeka; and Nick Williams, junior mass media major, Atlanta.

“It was extremely competitive for the positions,” Bruner said. “We had 65 qualified applications, which allowed us to be extremely selective.”

The mentors and students will be involved in six service projects and a national project in the upcoming year, connecting with community agencies.

“We will work closely with the mentors to make sure they are on track with their projects and hours,” Bruner said.

Students who complete a 300-hour term of service in the S2S Corps will receive an education award from AmeriCorps that can be used for future educational expenses or to pay off existing student loans.

According to AmeriCorps, service must be completed between Aug. 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012. Members are expected to contribute the following:

  • Provide academic and social support, encouragement, role modeling and accountability to their mentees.
  • Track their service hours online and submit monthly reflections on their own service experiences and complete a postservice survey evaluating their opinions on civic engagement.
  • Participate in at least six high-quality co-curricular service-learning activities alongside their mentees. At least one of these must be in conjunction with either a National Day of Service or Kansas Day, and at least one must be tied to AmeriCorps Week in the spring. S2S Corps Members, either individually or as a campus team, may plan these joint mentor-mentee service experiences themselves or they may coordinate with and participate in service opportunities planned by other campus organizations.
  • Design and conduct reflection activities with their mentees after the joint service activities using best practices in co-curricular service-learning.

AmeriCorps is a federal program that provides grants to public and nonprofit organizations that sponsor community service programs around the country, including faith-based and community organizations, higher education institutions, and public agencies. Grants assist these groups in recruiting, training and placing AmeriCorps members to meet critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

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