June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Cooperative & Experiential Education
12.1056.1 - 12.1056.11
MENTOR: Motivating ENgineers Through Organized Relationships Year Two Implementation
Undergraduate engineering students benefit from exposure to upper-class students and other networking opportunities. MENTOR (Motivating ENgineers Through Organized Relationships), a unique and innovative program in year two of implementation at NC State University, links 1400 students in our First Year Engineering Program to 350 co-op students. By working together through MENTOR first year engineers learn about successfully navigating their freshman year, are exposed to cooperative education, and improve their understanding of the engineering profession. Co-op mentors enhance their professional development as role models, share undergraduate experiences, and participate in a career-building experience. This paper describes the design and second year implementation of the MENTOR program including lessons-learned and future plans for the retention of engineering students at a large, diverse, research extensive university.
MENTOR (Motivating ENgineers Through Organized Relationships) is a ground breaking program in terms of its size and scope, whose aim is to increase student success in engineering through early connections to a positive peer network.1 In order to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of a program of this magnitude, we benchmarked our plans with peer program data available in the literature. The success of mentoring programs is widely documented, and in the college of engineering at NC State we already had two very successful mentoring programs aimed at women and minorities. Below are details of each of these programs – which formed the basis of our implementation and assessment plan.
START (STudent Advancement And Retention Teams) is NC State College of Engineering’s mentoring program for minority engineering freshmen and sophomores. An early intervention and peer-mentoring program, START aims to create useful partnerships among minority engineering students. Students are paired by major, demographics, or both with an upper-class minority engineering student. START teams meet on a regular basis to discuss a variety of issues, from choice of classes to securing internships. Social activities are held to allow START mentors to interact with their mentees in a non-academic setting. In 2005-2006 the START program involved 40 mentors serving 276 mentees, and in 2006-07 the program has 25 mentors serving 135 mentees.
WENT (Women Engineers Networking Together) is the NC State Women in Engineering peer mentoring program, started in 1999 as an all volunteer program to connect first year students with upper class students in the same major. Pairs are matched one-on-one, and participation is totally voluntary, with solicitation of interest made at the beginning of each semester. At the end of the fall semester, pairs are asked to assess their experience, and either member can request a re-matching without prejudice. Pairs are asked to communicate once a week and meet at least once a month. Mentors are given the responsibility for maintaining the relationship and are
Koehler, B., & Matney, S., & Lavelle, J., & Robbins, M. C. (2007, June), Mentor: Motivating Engineers Through Organized Relationships Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1752
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