Baylor Academic Mentoring Provides Accountability, Connection for Students Nearing End of Semester

(Matthew Minard, Baylor Marketing & Communications)
April 24, 2020

Student mentors offer assistance and encouragement virtually to their mentee peers

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By Jonathan Hill, senior brand integration specialist, Baylor Marketing and Brand Strategy

WACO, Texas (April 24, 2020) – With the CoVID-19 pandemic abruptly forcing students into an extended period of physical isolation and heightened stress, Academic Mentoring in Baylor University’s Paul L. Foster Success Center (PLFSC) continues to connect students in need of additional assistance to finish the semester successfully with peer mentors.

While the traditional academic tutoring services are still fully available to Baylor students, Academic Mentoring offers a more personal approach.

Students who request an Academic Mentor are connected with a fellow student to set up times to meet over video chat at least once a week. The student mentors can provide services like tips and study assistance, general accountability, encouragement and check-ins on how the mentee is progressing through the final weeks of this tumultuous spring semester of coursework.

Bailey Powers, a Baylor graduate student and Academic Mentor, has balanced the challenges of accommodating her mentee needs and making the rapid transition to virtual mentorship.

“Although there is a lot of uncertainty and change during this time, it has been very rewarding to see my mentees persevere and continue to work through the challenges they are facing – both academically and in their daily lives,” Powers said. “It’s great to see mentees create schedules and to-do lists to keep them on track when working from home, utilize adapted study strategies and take advantage of online tutoring or office hours with professors.”

The assistance provided by the mentors not only helps keep the mentees on track academically, the mentor-mentee relationship can often offer much-needed stability and motivation to students.

Rebecca Orellana, a senior Baylor student and academic mentee, knew she needed some extra help during a difficult time and was connected with Powers through Academic Mentoring.

“My mentor, Bailey Powers, has been one of the most encouraging people in my life at Baylor and outside,” Orellana said. “When I started the program in Fall 2019 due to a mentally rough spring semester, I felt lost and without any confidence in my capabilities as a student. Aside from providing so many helpful tools for thriving in academia, Bailey has helped me realize that I have potential to be a good student.

“She brought back the passion I had for learning. I do still struggle and have my shortcomings, but Bailey has also taught me to not give up and keep giving it my all. I have definitely become more motivated since starting the program, and am so blessed to specifically have Bailey as my mentor.”

Students who feel they could benefit from the Academic Mentoring program should email Trish Baum, program manager for resources in Academic Support Programs at the PLFSC, to get connected with an Academic Mentor.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 18,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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