The University of Georgia Mentor Program, the university’s first comprehensive mentorship initiative, allows students (undergraduate, graduate and professional) to form meaningful relationships with mentors. When the program launched on Aug. 21, 2019, UGA alumni and friends were eligible to become a UGA mentor. Now, all UGA faculty and staff are invited to serve as mentors within the program.
This mentor pool expansion comes at a time when there is an urgent need to recruit mentors. Currently, the program does not meet the optimal ratio of three mentors available for every one student. Additionally, UGA’s recently published Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Strategic Plan seeks to expand mentorship for underrepresented students. So, the program needs to add new mentors overall, while specifically recruiting additional mentors from underrepresented populations. Opening the program to faculty and staff will support those objectives.
To help new and potential mentors learn more about mentoring, the UGA Mentor Program is hosting a webinar, UGA Mentor 101, on Aug. 3 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Attendees will hear from successful mentor/mentee pairings, learn best practices for forming a strong connection and discover tips to become an effective mentor.
The UGA Mentor Program has facilitated 2,775 mentoring relationships since its inception, and 99% of mentors who completed a 16-week mentorship cycle were satisfied with their experience in the program. But perhaps the best endorsement of the program comes from students.
“Jumping into college as a freshman, you have no idea what the future or even next week will look like,” said one student in the program. “You’re making new friends, learning how to get around and deciding how you want to spend the next 30-plus years of your life. I felt stuck struggling to choose a major—until I joined the UGA Mentor Program. Because of my mentorship, I am confident, knowledgeable and on the road to success.”
For more information on the UGA Mentor Program and the Mentor 101 webinar, visit mentor.uga.edu/.