In fall 2019, the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing launched a new mentorship program in partnership with Mentor Collective with the goal of producing high-quality relationships across the student body. Since then, the program has grown to include alumni and graduate students and continues to benefit mentees and mentors alike.
“My transition from high school to college was full of mistakes and confusion,” said Jihan Shah, a senior in the bioengineering program. “But I was able to learn a lot in the process. I want to take this opportunity to pass on the lessons I have learned.”
Now mentoring two freshmen, Shah keeps them updated about campus resources along with helping them refine their time-management skills to balance education with jobs and social commitments.
“This transition is definitely challenging because you are no longer in the safe space of school where you still have some flexibility,” said Shah. “In your professional life, there is not much room for that. You have so many questions on what you are supposed to do or how things work.”
The mentorship program is designed to match students with a trained peer mentor (an upperclassman, graduate student, or alum) based on common interests, background, academics, and professional aspirations.
Here are some highlights from the program thus far:
- With more than 800 conversations logged since the program launched, first-year students are highly engaged in the program, bringing desired social capital and contributing to higher retention rates among students engaged in mentorships.
- Upper-division undergraduate students had strong gains in belonging to the engineering field, with program participants reporting a +38% change in “having role models in academic major or career path” over the course of the program.
- Graduate students value their mentoring relationships and maintain a strong career self-efficacy, with program participants reporting a +5% change in agreeing that “I am resourceful in making career-related decisions” over the course of the program.
“This program is a great opportunity to help guide the underclassmen along their journey, and provide tips and advice that you have learned throughout your experience,” says Lauren Galus, undergraduate mentor for first-year students. “It is a wonderful experience that allows you to help other people and it is as casual as you and the mentee wish it to be. I love being a mentor and look forward to in-person meetups in the fall.”
If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, or if you’re a new student who wants to be paired with a mentor, please visit our mentorship website to learn more and register.
At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.