Coordinator for Rosen College’s Office of Student Services, Vanessa Cogswell, developed a creative way that could potentially increase retention and graduation rates.  She recently began a new Peer Mentor Program which consists of undergraduate students with GPAs above 3.0, who are partnered with peers to enhance their overall college experience academically, socially and personally.

Mentors and mentees convened for the first time in September for a Meet and Greet event.    Eleven students were in attendance to include: Alexis Altamirano, Albert Cummings, Ryan Dowling, Stephanie Ford, Megan Joyce, Leanna Karpf, Jasmine Kouly, Ruth Prewitt, Alicia Strout, Diana Wechsler and Rachel Williams.

Participants were introduced to the program’s vision, mission and goals, and the mentor-mentee relationship, with the underlying message being that both mentors and mentees will get out of the program what they put into it.  All students involved were encouraged to take the initiative to regularly meet, communicate and work together when needed.

Cogswell shares, “The Peer Mentor Program provides Rosen students with the opportunity to give back as well as improve leadership and team skills.  I am very excited to be a part of this retention initiative and the students involved in the program have amazing attitudes.”

During the meet and greet, mentors facilitated ice breakers to practice leadership skills.  Activities included “who has the most items,” “question ball,” and “create your tattoo,” among others.

In addition to one-on-one sessions between mentors and mentees, Cogswell has organized meetings and activities throughout the semester.  Program participants recently embarked on a “Know Your Rosen Resources” scavenger hunt in early October, which encouraged visits to offices/areas at the Rosen campus to learn about the college’s student resources.

Cogswell hopes that the program will continue to grow, resulting in increased retention and graduation rates.  “Mentoring truly matters and the Office of Student Services is happy to offer this type of program to our students at Rosen.”