By Emily Lohec | Staff Writer
In 1993, Baylor began a mentor program for students to learn about the effective tools and knowledge needed to complete and have a successful semester. The program is composed of Baylor graduate students ready to assist undergrads with their daily schedules both inside and outside the classroom.
Trish Baum, program manager for resources, works directly with the mentor program and wants to provide students with important skill sets to prepare them confidently for the work force in the future.
“Our mentors, who are graduate students, have recently finished their undergraduate career so they know first hand the difficulty and current stressors the undergraduate students are encountering,” Baum said.
Baum believes having graduate students as the mentors provides current students with people who understand common challenges faced throughout the school year and who can provide ideas for alleviating the stress and worry students may feel.
Baum gives credit to Baylor as having the only weekly mentor program that hires graduate students as academic mentors.
“We are the only university where the mentors meet weekly, not monthly, with our students. Our mentors want to be there for their students through the academic triumphs and pit falls. You can’t do that if you only see your students once a month,” Baum said.
Baum believes that students can have greater support in their education when the connection between mentor and student is personal.
“Mentoring is guidance on how to survive the semester with academic success— it is not tutoring of any kind. It is how to read and comprehend what you have read, how to take effective notes, how to make study tools, how to balance fun and academics and more,” Baum said.
Baum is proud to set Baylor to a standard in which students can thrive when given the opportunity to partner with a mentor willing to give more than just advice, but continual support as well.
“Academic mentors provide accountability, guidance and support. Our mentors also aid in sharpening the students’ studying techniques,” Baum said.
Houston junior Camryn Manson shared about the positive benefits that came through her involvement in the mentor program.
“It was super nice having someone that I could talk to once a week and rewind from the stresses of school,” Manson said. “At first, I was kind of skeptical because I didn’t feel as though I needed a mentor, but I’m so thankful I had one now.”
Not only did Manson see her organizational skills improve, but through her mentor’s advice, she saw her time management skills improve as well.
“My work ethic definitely changed through having a mentor. She held me accountable even when I thought I didn’t need to be,” Manson said. “I would definitely consider becoming a mentor. I would absolutely love to have that impact on someone— it definitely takes a special person.”
To make an appointment, students can contact or visit the Academic Support Center located in the west wing of the basement in the Sid Richardson Building.