One of OSU's biggest priorities is increasing retention and graduation rates overall and reducing the achievement gap for underrepresented minorities (URM), first generation, and Pell-eligible students. The literature and experts in the field concur that a well-designed faculty - student mentor program can be useful for these goals, especially in students’ first year on the campus. A key recommendation of the Undergraduate Student Success Steering Committee is that OSU do a better job of supporting our students in their first year at OSU, whether they are traditional freshmen or transfer students. Thus, we’ve elected to place special focus on student transition in 2018-19, both through central campus initiatives and college, school and department level initiatives with a two year pilot Faculty-Student Mentor Program.OSU will launch a pilot voluntary faculty – student mentor program (FSMP) in Fall 2018 as one central action focused on improving the student transition experience.
The FSMP will target a sample of URM, first generation, and Pell-eligible in their first year at OSU (both transfer and freshmen). The aim is keep the time commitment for volunteer mentors modest, as well as to build a community of practice among the mentors. The pilot will run for 2 years.