Faculty and Staff One-to-One Mentorship Increases Student Success Rates
Since its launch in 2016, the volunteer Mentor Program has been making a positive impact on the lives of Cabrillo College students. With fall semester starting August 27, Cabrillo staff and faculty are working to improve student success outcomes, by preparing new faculty and staff mentors to participate in the Cabrillo Mentor Program.
The opt-in, volunteer-based program supports Cabrillo students by pairing them with a Cabrillo College faculty or staff member who volunteers their time and energy to support students during the duration of their enrollment at Cabrillo College.
Mentors can offer classroom guidance, personal direction, resource information, career direction, and can be a ‘bridge’ for the students to help them navigate the college experience. Students also benefit from the program for the unconventional advantages it provides. Mentors fulfill a number of roles, such as knowledgeable soundboards, coaches, supporters, career-building resources, relationship drivers, and teachers.
“Research by Ernest Pascarella finds that mentoring for students in college helps students to feel more connected and engaged on campus, which can ultimately improve student outcomes,” said Sue Gochis, Cabrillo Vice President of Student Services. “In our first couple years of the Mentor Program at Cabrillo, we’ve experienced that – students have improved retention after the first semester, and we’re seeing better grades and improved graduation rates, in addition to higher motivation levels and improved self-esteem.”
To date, the program has demonstrated great success in helping Mentor Program participants persist in college as well as achieve their educational goals.
“The Mentor Program is brilliant — it is challenging to want more for yourself when there is no one to look up to or to guide you along the way, and this is exactly what my mentor has done for me,” said Yesenia Rocha Rocha, a student mentee. “Being a part of the Mentor Program has not only helped me academically, but has also inspired me to be a mentor one day with hopes of changing young students’ lives in helping them reach their goals.”
In addition to the students who are impacted by the program, Cabrillo mentors also report great satisfaction from their participation in the Mentor Program.
“I have gotten so much more out of mentoring than I ever imagined,” said Matthew Halter, Cabrillo Mentor Program Director and Biology Instructor. “I have been honored to meet such bright, eager, enthusiastic, and engaging students and each year, I have enjoyed the interaction as much as I hope they have.”
During the 2017-18 academic year, Cabrillo had 39 mentors and 49 mentees. Since its inception in the 2015-16 school year, approximately 100 students have participated in the Mentor Program. Mentor orientations are currently underway for Cabrillo faculty, staff and retirees for the 2018-19 academic year, and there is strong interest in the program.
Current or returning students can visit https://www.cabrillo.edu/services/studserv/Mentor.html for more information about the Cabrillo Mentor Program, or they may contact Sue Gochis in the Cabrillo Student Services Office at 831-479-6527.