Any UCCS students interested in educational careers, particularly in middle-grade education, can gain mentorship experience without leaving campus.
Each semester, the College of Education partners with Campus Connections to select students from UCCS to mentor middle school students who face behavioral, social and academic obstacles. The deadline to apply to be a student-mentor is April 8.
Molly Cammell, the Campus Connections program manager in the College of Education, helps coordinate the mentorship program with UCCS students. She said the program provides student mentors with the right resources to further their education in this field.
“Students get real hands-on learning experience and how to interact with kids and youth,” Cammell said.
Student-mentors accepted into the program will participate in a course concurrently with their mentorship responsibilities. This course can count a general elective or as an internship.
Cammell described a typical day in the weekly program, which runs from 3-9 p.m. for mentors and 4-8 p.m. for the middle school students. The day starts with the short student-mentor class session before middle schoolers arrive for partial campus tours and walk-and-talk sessions with mentors.
After a tour covering a different section of campus each week, the kids will move to “school success time,” where they are able to work on homework for school. The program has also partnered with the UCCS dining halls to allow mentors and students to eat dinner on the second floor of the Roaring Fork dining hall after study time.
Following dinner, the mentors and middle schoolers complete pro-social activities. The program works with the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative to explore topics around social justice, and then the mentors lead another activity to wrap up the weekly event.
For those interested in becoming mentors, the application consists of short answer questions and volunteer waivers. It also asks students to submit an unofficial transcript, resume and professional references.
The April 8 deadline is flexible, and the program continues to accept some applications after the deadline. The spring 2023 application deadline will be in November 2022.
The opportunity is open to all students regardless of major or academic year. Cammell encouraged students to apply if they are interested in mentorship, even if they lack experience in the field.