Honors Mentor Program

A UHP Mentor-Mentee pair at the Kick-Off Event
A UHP Mentor-Mentee pair in front of Coffman Memorial Union
Students in the Honors Mentor Program get to know one another
Students at the Kick-Off event for the Honors Mentor Program
Students at the Kick-Off event for the Honors Mentor Program

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.

Program Expectations

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 and mentees must complete a short online training via Canvas (asynchronous format)

Program Timeline

  • Miid-June to July 26th: Mentee and Mentor application period
  • Mid-August: Matching occurs
  • Late August: Mentor and mentee training via Canvas
  • Week before fall semester: Participants are notified of their pairings via University email and mentors will reach out to mentees.
  • Second week 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

Meet the Mentor Chair

Hello! I am Sarah Wood, the currently serving Chair of the UHP Mentor Program. As Chair, I work closely with Team Leads and UHP to coordinate program events, monitor the progress of pairings, and ensure that each participant has a positive and impactful experience. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at uhp-mp@umn.edu.

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.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Honors Mentor Program, please don't hesitate to send us an email at uhp-mp@umn.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

What will I gain from this experience as a mentee?

As a mentee, the program is designed to support your transition to college and the honors program by partnering you with an assigned mentor who will help you explore available resources. You will gain a valuable support system, receive academic guidance, and have opportunities to build lasting friendships throughout your first semester at the U.

What will I gain from this experience as a mentor?

As a mentor, you will gain valuable leadership experience, expand your network, and give back to the honors program community. Mentoring is a great way to develop career-oriented skills such as communication, administration, and self-reflection, while simultaneously being a role model to new UHP students. 

How do I apply?

The mentor and mentee applications can be found on this page under the “Application” section. Additionally, all mentee candidates (first-year honors students) and all mentor candidates (second to fifth-year honors students) will receive a link to their respective applications via email in June. The priority deadline for applications is July 26th at 11:59 pm.

What are the expectations and commitment of the program?

The Honors Mentor Program is a relatively low time commitment, consisting of a short Canvas training, a kickoff event, and meetings between mentor pairs. Mentors and their respective mentees are expected to meet at least three times during the fall semester, but are welcome to meet more frequently if they like!

What kinds of activities count as a meeting?

Meetings can take almost any form, provided they are school-appropriate and that mentors keep track of the number of meetings they have with mentees. Common examples include coffee chats, volleyball/football games, study breaks, trivia nights, etc. Additionally, program-sponsored events do count as meetings.

What factors are considered when pairing mentors and mentees?

The primary goal in pairing mentors and mentees is to match participants from the same college, ideally with at least one shared major. Other factors considered in pairing include gender identity, extracurriculars, and academic experiences that mentees want to explore.

Does this count as an Honors experience?

No, due to its low time commitment, the Honors Mentor Program does not count as an honors experience toward graduation requirements. However, it is a great way to get more involved in our community and learn more about how to get involved with honors experiences in the future!

How can mentors help mentees?

Mentors act to help mentees with the college transition and thus can help address a wide variety of issues. On the logistics end, mentors can answer common questions about classes navigating campus, etc. Furthermore, mentors are a great resource to provide social and academic resources for mentees, offering their background knowledge and tips. Please note that mentors cannot act as therapists, and will direct mentees to other resources in regards to mental health concerns. Mentors will resource share for any issues that they feel may benefit from professional support (tutoring, four-year planning, etc.).