Mentorship within the College of Arts & Science
Mentorship forms a vital part of our strategic vision, critical to the ongoing progress of the College toward supporting student success; demonstrating academic excellence; and cultivating stronger ties between students, faculty, alumni, and staff. Over the course of Fall 2018, the ad hoc CAS Task Force on Mentorship convened to:
- examine existing and potentially new mentorship opportunities for undergraduates;
- identify best practices for such engagements; and
- cultivate synergies between curricular and co-curricular efforts.
The resulting report examined 4 subareas that spanned
- Student Exposure to/Involvement in Faculty Scholarship;
- Alternative Advising and Co-curricular Models;
- Mentoring Strategies for First- and Second-Year Students; and
- Alumni/Peer Mentorship (UG-UG, Grad-UG, Alumni-UG) Opportunities.
We include here a summary of the report’s findings for the broader community.
CAS Mentorship Task Force Report
CAS Mentorship Resources
- Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program (LAMP): Offers CAS students one-on-one mentoring with experienced, practicing attorneys who received their undergraduate degrees from CAS. Mentors provide insight into various aspects of the legal profession, offer advice on choosing law schools and careers, and, in some cases, make internship opportunities available for their students.
- Mentor a CAS Student: The CAS Student Council and the CAS Alumni Relations Office connect alumni with current students for mentoring opportunities.
- First-Year Seminars: these small, required seminars offer all first-year students an introduction to the intellectual community of the College and provide opportunities for academic mentoring.
- Proud to Be First: Assists first-generation first-year students in making a successful transition to NYU while cultivating investment and engagement in the College and University Community.
- Women in Science (WINS): Seeks to cultivate the talents of women undergraduates who are interested in careers that focus on research in science and math.
NYU Mentorship Resources
- FOCUS Mentorship Program: this is run by the Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP). First-year undergraduate students who identify as first generation college students and/or students of color develop relationships with NYU alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who can serve as resources and/or advocates through establishing an ongoing mentoring relationship.
- NYU Leadership Initiative Mentoring Groups: for undergraduates seeking to gain a greater understanding of who they are and what they want to do at NYU, engage deeply in activities that matter to them, and build meaningful relationships.
- NYU Vertically Integrated Projects: this Tandon initiative is a multi-year, multidisciplinary approach to learning that emphasizes project-based, innovative, research-active education. An opportunity to practice professional skills while making real-world contributions.
- First Class is the Wasserman Center’s professional development and mentorship program for first generation college students. Over the course of six months, undergraduate students participate in career related workshops, meet industry leaders, and connect with a professional mentor and career coach to help explore academic areas of interest, internships, and careers. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Future of Mentorship at CAS — Action Plan for 2019-20 and Beyond
The College is pleased to announce several actionable next steps that result directly from work of the CAS Task Force on Mentorship.
Improved knowledge sharing about mentorship opportunities
The College has launched this page on Mentorship, which details our official statement on mentorship, College-wide and department-based best mentorship practices, and unit-based opportunities for faculty, current students, alumni, and staff. Additionally, we are partnering with the Office of the Provost and the Wasserman Center to create an online portal that will showcase campus-wide mentorship programming.
The Wasserman Center for Career Development and Alumni Affairs recently signed a contract with PeopleGrove to implement an online mentorship platform for the NYU community. They are currently implementing the technology and will conduct a pilot with a small group of engaged students and alumni in the New Year. Once they have implemented any feedback from that pilot, they will be recruiting alumni and other potential mentors into the platform throughout the spring and summer in advance of an AY 2021 launch to students. CAS is working closely with Wasserman to ensure that we are able to take full advantage of the platform as we advance our mentorship efforts.
Increased resources for new and ongoing mentorship support
The College has also increased its internal resources to support longstanding programs that have a peer and alumni mentor component, including supporting more College Cohort Leaders, Academic Resource Center peer tutors, and alumni mentors. The College has recently hired five new advisers, which will allow for more targeted student-staff interactions and promote better communication about mentorship opportunities.
NYU has also increased its investment in successful Provostial programs to widen the pipeline for scholars from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and to support recruiting, retaining, and promoting NYU faculty from under-represented racial and ethnic groups. The Task Force will also help the University think about how to enhance services for persons with disabilities.
The College has launched several committees involved in making recommendations to improve our curricula along the axis of mentorship, including those focused on the Core Curriculum, STEM education, and technology-enhanced education. Part of this work includes identifying ways that foundational and global curricula can provide mentorship opportunities to students. With respect to the work surrounding the review of the Core Curriculum, the College has reaffirmed its support for the First-Year Seminar, which provides valuable faculty-student contact so that all students have a guaranteed small content seminar experience.
College-wide recognition for mentorship excellence
We are committed to supporting and acknowledging the wonderful work that colleagues do in the service of mentorship. To this end, we will seek to establish an Excellence in Mentorship Award, to be conferred at our annual baccalaureate ceremony, to recognize faculty who have gone to extraordinary lengths in mentoring undergraduates.
Comprehensive improvement to the mentorship of CAS students cannot happen overnight, but these initial steps should indicate the degree to which many colleagues in the FAS and broader University community take seriously the success of this enterprise. I look forward to receiving any feedback or insights you may have, but also to announcing future developments in advancing student mentorship in the College.