Eastern Michigan University continues first-generation student support with an ongoing Mentor Collective partnership

An animated mentor waves to her mentee in front of signs that point in all directions to different paths in life.

YPSILANTI – Despite the changes to classroom settings that occurred during the pandemic, first-generation college students at Eastern Michigan University continue to receive an early boost in their academic careers thanks to the ongoing partnership between the Mentor Collective, an international online mentoring community, and the University.

The Mentor Collective aims to assist students in transitioning to college through a network of peer mentors trained to offer guidance and advice, including Eastern Michigan upper-class students. Mentor Collective students can use discussion guides and goal-setting activities, available through the program’s online platform, to spark meaningful conversations with their counterparts.

“The Mentor Collective has made such a huge impact on Eastern’s campus, so it’s exciting that we are able to continue efforts,” said Calvin McFarland, assistant vice president of academic services at Eastern.

First-year students in the past have expressed the need for support navigating their education as new students and the impact of the program has assisted several students, especially throughout the virtual experience. 

"I was worried about what my expectations were as a virtual college student,” said Grant Clark EMU student and mentee of Mentor Collective. “My mentor has done a fantastic job preparing me for this semester and my future at EMU. Whenever I have had a question or a concern, he has always been able to guide me. ”

The program boasts that relationships shape the experience and outcomes of a student’s journey through higher education. “It's a very rewarding job, an opportunity to get to know your peers, and a great way to work on interpersonal skills. It's not too intense and it is quite an enjoyable activity to speak with your mentees. It is definitely worth it" said Katlin Boyce, mentor at Mentor Collective.

Eastern Michigan’s choice to prioritize mentorship for this population of students stems from a body of research illuminating the positive impacts of personalized, student-centered programs on graduation rates and academic achievement.

For more information about the Mentor Collective at Eastern Michigan University, or to participate as a mentor or mentee, please inquire at help@mentorcollective.org.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

May 25, 2022

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Media Contact:
Brittany Mobley