Texas A&M Posse Scholars with their mentor, Assistant Provost Heather Wilkinson, after successfully completing the ropes course at Summer Retreat.

Mentors Have Lasting Impact on Scholars

Winter 2014 | National

The Posse Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Throughout the year, this newsletter will highlight the people, programs and services that play a huge role in Posse’s success.

The rigorous selection and training of Posse Scholars, together with the support they receive from the colleges and universities they attend, contributes to the stellar 90 percent persistence and graduation rate. Critical components of that support are the campus mentors, who are staff and faculty members from Posse’s partner institutions dedicated to guiding Scholars to a successful college experience.

“In the early years of the Posse program, our Scholars expressed a need for an on-campus ally,” says Posse President and Founder Deborah Bial. “They were so right. The knowledge and dedication of our mentors have proven invaluable to Scholars’ success.”

Being a Posse mentor added meaning to my work life.

Campus mentors support Scholars on campus, motivate them towards graduation, and connect them to needed campus resources. Their frontline efforts include running weekly group and individual meetings with Scholars during their first and second years. The majority of mentors maintain relationships with Scholars after formal mentoring ends, valuing the opportunity to connect with students and to facilitate their growth as scholars and leaders.

“Being a Posse mentor added meaning to my work life, a realization of the power of education on multiple levels, and of holistic advising,” says mentor Dr. Leah B. Glasser, the associate dean of studies, dean for the senior class, and English lecturer at Mount Holyoke College. “I was reminded that teaching, advising, and mentoring involves love, compassion, admiration, mutual respect, and an ability to challenge students to meet their own potential and become their own best agents for change and growth.”

The Posse Institute, the research division of the Foundation, will publish a detailed report about the Posse mentoring program later this year.