Each student will be assigned a faculty mentor and will be required to meet with him/her monthly to receive guidance on academic issues or performance and career decisions and assistance in completing the course of study in a timely manner. The mentor will be assigned in consultation with both student and faculty and will be a faculty member that is well aligned to his/her career and specialization interests. The project web page will contain information about the mentors so that students can make informed decision.
The suggested goals of the meetings will be as follows:
Meeting 1 (beginning of the semester)- the mentor/mentee get to know each other. As part of this meeting the mentor will gain an understanding of the mentees interests, plans for the future, and academic hardships and strengths. The project will provide guidelines for the mentor and mentee to promote an efficient and fruitful meeting. The mentor and mentee will set specific, concrete, and achievable academic goals for the student to work on during the next weeks. For example, a 2nd year student that admits having time-management challenges will commit to turning in his programming assignments with enough time to review. A 4th year commits to researching graduate schools in her area of interest.
Meetings 2 and 3 - the mentor and mentee discuss the progress of the agreed goal and the student’s academic progress and mid-term grades, paying special attention to the student's perceived hardships and highlighting how the program's activities can help her. The mentor will suggest plans of action, e.g. tutoring, references, to help the mentee succeed in courses.
Meeting 4 - The mentor and mentee assess the semester in terms of the specific goals agreed and the student’s performance in the courses. Both the mentor and mentee fill out a short one or two paragraph report summarizing the goal, what was done to advance it, the expected vs. real grades and why. The mentor fills a short (scaled) questionnaire to evaluate the student in terms of commitment, responsibility and academic progress. The mentee fills a short questionnaire to evaluate the mentor in terms of helpfulness, resourcefulness and commitment.
In further semesters, the meetings will follow a similar structure, adapted to the needs of the student as he advances through the program. The professors will be asked about student’s challenges in their courses and how these can translate to mentor/mentee follow up goals. For undergraduates, additional peer-to-peer mentoring will be provided through the project’s special tutoring service. Non-scholarship students may also participate in the mutually beneficial mentor-advisee relationship.