Pilot Residential Graduate Academic Mentor Program
The heart of the Baylor experience is developed on-campus in the union of shared experiences and relationships. In keeping with Illuminate, Baylor University seeks to continue to increase the percentage of undergraduates living on campus and improve the quality of Baylor’s residential communities. Central to this effort is Campus Living & Learning (CL&L)’s goal to further enhance the residential learning experience of our undergraduate students.
The Graduate Academic Mentor (GAM) program at Baylor University exists to foster and shape the social, cultural, educational, and spiritual life within Baylor’s residential communities. As such, Graduate Academic Mentors are graduate students who live in designated on-campus residential communities to enhance the academic experience for undergraduate students. Graduate Academic Mentors work collaboratively with CL&L leadership, residence hall staff, and the Graduate School, as well as with Academic Support Programs for training. GAMs are provided with a private room in a residential community and a partial meal plan while fall and spring semester classes are in session. In return, the GAM fulfills formal responsibilities for support of undergraduate academic pursuits and is informally available for interaction with undergraduates for residence hall functions.
Qualifications and Expectations
Graduate students must be in good academic standing with their departments.
Graduate students must be at least in their second year by the time the appointment begins. Graduate students may apply spring semester of their first year at the earliest.
Graduate students must be willing to commit to at least two academic years in the role, but the appointment is renewed annually and subject to performance review.
Graduate students must be willing to engage in academic mentoring training with the department of Academic Support Programs, including training in August before classes begin.
Graduate students must be knowledgeable of general academic requirements, procedures, and campus resources.
Graduate students must be a role model for adhering to all university and Campus Living & Learning policies and procedures as outlined in the Guide to Community Living and On-Campus Living Expectations for live in staff.
Graduate students must have a demonstrated Christian faith.
Graduate student selection and placement in the Residential GAM role will be based on a number of factors, including configuration of the spaces available.
The GAM has formal responsibilities that involve approximately 8-10 hours per week as outlined below. The GAM hours are separate from, and in addition, to departmental assistantships.
The GAM will be known as an active member of the residence hall. In collaboration with hall staff, the GAM will develop an action plan for enhancing the academic engagement of undergraduate students. The GAM will utilize community development techniques, relationship building skills, and a positive attitude to get to know the residents of the assigned community.
The GAM has three points of contact: Campus Living & Learning, the Graduate School, and Academic Support Programs. The GAM is expected to meet regularly with these points of contact. The GAM will serve as a role model by supporting residence hall and university policies and the staff members responsible for enforcing them, although the GAM role does not include enforcement of residential policies (outside of mandatory university reporting expectations).
Specific duties include:
- Enhancing the undergraduate educational experience by: (6-8 hours per week)
- keeping regular office hours, especially evening and weekend hours, in a designated community space within the college.
- providing support and specific guidance for study skills.
- providing individual help with specific classes and assignments.
- identifying and utilizing appropriate reference librarians in connection with their work.
- identifying and utilizing appropriate campus resources for additional academic support.
- Attending hall programming (1-2 hours a week).
- Attending leadership or 1:1 meetings as requested (1-2 hours a week).
- Developing a positive rapport with residence members through accessibility, personal interest, and regular conversation.
The GAM is directly supervised by the Associate Dean for Student and Faculty Development in the Graduate School and the Associate Director for Academic Initiatives in Campus Living & Learning; the GAM will have indirect supervision by the Residence Hall Director.
This is a ten-month, year-to-year appointment (early August through end of academic year in May) based on an annual review. The GAM is provided year-round accommodation in a private bedroom, equipped with basic residence hall furniture, within the assigned residential community or, during summer months, another residential on campus accommodation. The GAM private room will serve as the primary residence, and as such, the GAM must fully reside on campus during the academic year.
- Accommodations will vary by assigned residential community. May be a single room in a community bath hall, or a room within a suite or apartment in which a bathroom may be shared.
- The GAM is provided a partial meal plan that includes 11 meals per week during the fall and spring semesters while classes are in session.
- The program does not cover the cost of moving expenses, nor liability insurance for personal property. As such, renters’ insurance is strongly encouraged.
Applicants should complete the online application form, and upload the following documents in a single packet:
- a cover letter that outlines interest in the fellowship, that makes clear academic and personal preparedness to fulfill the outlined responsibilities, and that discusses the attractiveness to them of this unique residentially based fellowship.
- a current C.V.
Two recommendation letters are required—one from the graduate program director and one from a faculty member who has worked closely with the applicant. Please enter the emails of both recommenders into the online form, and the recommenders will submit their letters through the online form.
Applications must be received by May 4 for consideration, with interviews scheduled for potential candidates during the month of May.