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Third year assessment of a student-based mentorship program for first-year environmental engineering students

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2017 FYEE Conference


Daytona Beach, Florida

Publication Date

August 6, 2017

Start Date

August 6, 2017

End Date

August 8, 2017

Conference Session

WIP: Student Success & Development - Focus on Mentoring

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Conference - Works in Progress Submission

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Joanne F. Uleau Environmental Engineering Program, University of Colorado- Boulder

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Joanne Uleau graduated from West Chester University in PA with a BS degree in Elementary Education. Currently she is the Undergraduate Academic Advisor in Environmental Engineering. She was awarded the Outstanding Staff Advisor Award in 2016, she holds the place as chair for the Advisors Council and graduation ceremony.

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Work-in Progress Assessment of a student-based mentorship program for first-year environmental engineering students Joanne F. Uleau*, College of Engineering Undergraduate Academic Advisor for Environmental Engineering,, R. Scott Summers, Environmental Engineering Program Director,

*Environmental Engineering Program, University of Colorado- Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309-0428 We have recently completed the third year of a mentorship program for first-year students (~50) in the environmental engineering (EVEN) program (~200 students), in which senior or junior level environmental engineering students volunteer their time to mentor the incoming students. The objective of the program is to support first year and transfer EVEN students as they gain their footing in the EVEN Program and in life at CU Boulder. The approach is to assign each junior/senior mentor five to six mentees. They will first meet with the first year EVEN students in our EVEN 1000 lecture, then meet/ communicate with them two to three times throughout the semester. This is still (despite input from last year’s FYEE conference) a volunteer effort. EVEN first year students are not required to participate. Mentors are volunteering their time, but get a couple of free meals as a token of our appreciation.

The mentor’s objectives are to provide student-student mentoring, while increasing interactions between upper-class and newer EVEN students; to aid in the academic, emotional and social adjustment of first-year students; to grow a culture of giving and volunteerism at CU Boulder; to encourage the development of student relationships with other engineering students and staff and to provide consistent, reliable sources of support, information and inspiration. The mentors are trained in a 2-hour session in which their roles and responsibilities, including ethics, are stressed.

In the first year of the program we divided up the first-year students by an academic measure: their interest in one of the seven EVEN tracks/options. The mentors were then assigned based on their EVEN track/option. In the second and third year of the program we divided up the first-year students by their residence hall assignment (including an off-campus category). The mentors were then assigned based on their first year residence hall. The mentors are introduced to the first year students in class. In the second year, we had a break-out session in which contact information is exchanged on a volunteer basis. The mentors then try to set up meetings outside of class. In the first year the introduction took place in the 7th week of the semester and in the second year in the 3rd week. We have only ~30% participation in the second year. The third year we introduced the mentors on the first day of class, they were again paired up according to their residence hall. They were assigned a homework task do complete with their mentor within the first 2 weeks of class. The mentors had a strong turnout for the homework assignment meeting and then 7 out of 8 groups met with their mentees twice or more throughout that semester mainly as a group setting. The mentors also came back to the classroom setting during registration period to review the registration system/process with the students. We will talk about the mentor and mentee survey results

Uleau, J. F. (2017, August), Third year assessment of a student-based mentorship program for first-year environmental engineering students Paper presented at 2017 FYEE Conference, Daytona Beach, Florida.

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