Onondaga Community College Fosters Belonging & Culture of Care with Peer Mentorship
Onondaga Community College (OCC) cares about their students, and not just as it pertains to graduation rates. Their focus has always been on the actual well being of their students. Part of OCC's culture of care includes peer and alumni mentor support through Mentor Collective; a support to not only demonstrate their commitment to student success, but a mechanism that gives administrators and leaders critical real-time data about the student experience via peer-to-peer interactions. In the pilot program during the 21-22 academic year, the addition of near-peer mentor support contributed to an increase student sense of belonging by almost 19%, and an increase in academic self-efficacy by more than 8%.
First and foremost it was worth it. To have the support of Mentor Collective in helping us develop a program that we know through research is incredibly valuable; we just didn’t have the time to implement it…and implement it well. To leverage this platform to use various funding streams to cover some of these costs has allowed us to serve these students in a way that we know is beneficial, we just haven’t been able to accomplish in the past."
Dr. Scott Schuhert, Dean of Students, Onondaga Community College