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Summer Fast Track Institute

“Bridging the Gap”

Mentoring Program for Summer Fast Track Institute

Learning Outcomes: As noted in the STAR Program grant the following are the anticipated learning outcomes and goals of the “Bridging the Gap” mentoring program:

  • Increase incoming first year students’ knowledge of UHD instructional support resources/services/opportunities AND how to access them
  • Increase incoming first year students’ knowledge and appreciation of the value of a college education and co-curricular activities/opportunities
  • Increase skill in self-regulation.

Purpose: One of the challenges facing First Time in College (FTIC) freshmen is their lack of knowledge about academic support services and resources available on campus; the purpose of “Bridging the Gap” is to provide Summer Fast Track Institute participants with another contact person that they can easily access with questions or concerns. Research has shown that mentors “can contribute to increasing students’ self-efficacy and assist in their setting and accomplishing goals” (Rhodes, 2008, p. 62). A study comparing students who were assigned a mentor to those who were not, found the students with a mentor had a significantly higher GPA, a higher retention rate, and a higher rate of social development on the Personal Skills Map (Rhodes, 2008). The results did show that mentoring had no impact on cognitive development, which supports the use staff members as mentors, since the goal is not to increase cognitive development but impact student behaviors outside the classroom.
Mentor Role: Mentors will meet with students during STAR Program events (see below) and speak with them about setting SMART goals each semester and the importance of accessing campus resources to assist in achieving those goals.
Commitment: One academic year (July 2014-April 2015)

  • Summer introduction at SFTI closing celebration (7/17/2014  and/or  8/14/2014)
  • Mentor Training (September 5, 2014:  11:30 am -1:30 pm)
  • Fall welcome back event (September 11, 2014: 11:00a.m.-2:00p.m.)
  • Fall mid-term event (November 2014)
  • Spring welcome back event (January 2015)
  • Spring mid-term event (March 2015)
  • End of the year celebration (April 2015)
  • Email communication as needed (bi-weekly email encouraged)

Staff benefit:  A staff member’s participation as a mentor is considered commitment to the institution. As a mentor, s/he will become a part of positive action that is student-centered. Bonds formed with mentees often last throughout the student's academic career. By volunteering, a staff's energy and enthusiasm will contribute to creating a welcoming and comfortable learning environment for our UHD students.



Rhodes, D. (2008). Does mentoring really work for college students? Proceedings of the Academy of Educational Leadership, 13(2), 62-66.

A Division of University College, University of Houston-Downtown-Funded by the US Department of Education Title V Higher Education Act, Higher Education-Institutional Aid.  For more information contact STAR Program Office: 713-221-8940, Suite S603


Contact Information

University of Houston Downtown
One Main Street, 603 South
Houston, TX  77002-01001
Phone: 713-221-8258
Fax:  713-226-5235

Consuela M. Cooper, Coordinator, STAR Program

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Last updated or reviewed on 7/14/14

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