On behalf of the University Honors Student Association and the University Honors Program, I welcome you and appreciate your interest in the Honors Mentors program. This program is a pillar of the Honors community, and a great introduction to what the Honors Program has to offer.
As a first-year or transfer UHP student, you will be paired with an older UHP student who has had similar experiences. Hearing insight about your first year, exploring the campus and Twin Cities, learning what the Honors Program has to offer from a student perspective, and asking questions to an older student are just some of the benefits of being a mentee. My mentor was able to provide me with advice about my major, help guide my extracurricular interests, and support me within a brand new environment – which are some of the things I hope you gain from the program.
Mentors—who are sophomores, juniors, or seniors—will provide support to new UHP students through the college transition, answer questions about the Honors Program through their own experience, and introduce mentees to campus. The impact that mentors have through this connection is unmatched and can serve students beyond their first year in UHP!
The Honors Mentor Program is a great way to meet other UHP students and foster community. We encourage incoming students to look for sign-up instructions in the post-Orientation email they will receive from UHP. I am eager to serve as a resource so if you have any questions, or if you are interested in being a mentor, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Siya Sakhardande, 2022-23 Honors Mentor Program Chair
Program Goals and Structure
We strive to support incoming students through their first semester in the University Honors Program and to provide leadership experience to UHP students in their sophomore, junior, and senior years. Mentors are volunteers who complete a short application and online training process. New students can sign up to participate in the program following their summer orientation session.
The Honors Mentor Program matches mentors with their new student mentees based primarily on college of enrollment, intended major or academic interests, and co-curricular activities of interest. Participants also have the option to request a same-gender match. Each mentor-mentee pair will be assigned to a Team Lead who helps facilitate the program and sends reminder emails. Our Team Leads serve as the primary program contact for mentors and mentees with questions or concerns. The UHSA Mentor Program Chair (a student executive board position) and UHP staff coordinate the program and provide oversight.
Mentorship pairs decide how often they would like to meet and whether they’ll additionally connect via text or social media. Pairs choose their own meeting activities and topics for discussion. Some pairs meet just a few times in Fall semester and others choose to stay in contact for years. However, mentors and mentees are only expected to commit to the following requirements:
- Stay in regular contact through the fall semester via University email
- Meet for a conversation and/or activity at least three times during the fall semester
- Mentors must also complete a short online training via Canvas (asynchronous format)
- May to mid-August: Mentee and Mentor application period
- Mid-August: Matching occurs
- Late August: Mentor training via Canvas
- Week before fall semester: Participants are notified of their pairings via University email and mentors will reach out to mentees.
- First two weeks of fall semester: Mentor Program group kick-off meetings facilitated by Team Leads
- September-December: Mentorship pairs meet up at least three times
- Finals Week: Last official week of the Honors Mentor Program
Cultural and Identity-Based Mentor Programs
While the Honors Mentor Program matches students primarily on academic interests, we recognize students may value mentorship and informal connections with staff and peers from shared identities or cultural backgrounds. The University of Minnesota has identity-based student support service offices, cultural centers, and hundreds of student groups that can help you feel supported and connected on campus. Check out GopherLink to find more information for student groups and cultural centers. BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) Honors students may also want to connect with the Honors Multicultural Network. A listing of University student support services can be found here. Some of these programs even offer their own mentor programs. We encourage you to join the Honors Mentor Program and any of these additional groups that will help you find community on campus. If you’re having trouble finding a group that connects to your needs or interests, ask your Honors advisor or mentor for help.
If you have any questions about the Honors Mentor Program, please don't hesitate to send us an email at email@example.com.