Affinity Mentoring Program Supports First-Year Students

Michael Thomas Susquehanna University

October 10, 2019

SUConnects Supports Students from Historically Underrepresented Groups

Susquehanna University has launched SUConnects, a mentoring program for first-year students from historically underrepresented groups.

SUConnects pairs incoming students with high-achieving upperclassmen who support them academically and socially during their adjustment to college life.

“We know that students of color leave college campuses at higher rates than white students. They are not failing; they are just leaving,” said Amy Davis, student diversity and inclusion program coordinator. “This program is an effort to reverse that trend by fostering a sense of belonging on SU’s campus.”

The program currently enrolls 12 mentees, known as SUConnects scholars, and seven upperclassmen mentors. Michael Thomas, assistant professor of philosophy, serves as the group’s faculty mentor.

“In my early career at SU, the students from underrepresented groups who succeed typically have support from older peers to acclimate them to university life,” Thomas said. “I believe the work between our scholars and mentors will help our new students thrive on campus and hope the program expands so that more students have the opportunity to reap its benefits.”

Scholars meet weekly with their mentor and monthly as a group, taking part in activities that promote leadership skills, socialization and academic excellence.

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