The Jump Start Transition Program is a year-long peer mentor-based program that serves all students with special emphasis on individuals from underserved populations to assist with their academic and social transition to college. There are many reasons to consider joining Jump Start but here are a few of the resources that students identify as being most helpful in their first year:
- Connect with peers and develop friendships
- Get adjusted to college life before the first day of classes
- Meet faculty and staff members across campus
- Receive support from peers, graduate assistants, and Office for Inclusive Excellence staff throughout the year
How Does It Work?
The program begins with Jump Start Week (Monday evening through Thursday afternoon) where participants learn about campus resources, interact with faculty and staff members, and engage in fun activities alongside their peers. Early housing costs are covered by the Office for Inclusive Excellence and three meals a day will be provided until the student's meal plan kicks in. Attendance at Jump Start week is a key part of the program as it allows students to develop bonds with their peers and establish goals with their peer mentor. Students interested in participating in Jump Start are required to attend Jump Start week and be in attendance at each event throughout
Mentors and mentees are matched by similar interests or by major and serve as a continuous point of contact to provide support, information, encouragement, and guidance throughout the mentee’s first year. Mentors are trained in peer mentoring best practices and work closely with our graduate assistants and assistant director to ensure that any student concerns are handled in an appropriate and timely manner.
The mentor/mentee relationship is integral to the Jump Start experience because mentors can share first-hand accounts of their experiences and help first-year students normalize their hopes, concerns, or fears of college. Additionally, mentors can teach students how to utilize campus resources, help them understand campus policies, and provide insight on academic success in their major.
In addition to weekly mentor meetings, there are monthly Transition Series workshops that focuses on transitional challenges first-year college students face—such as time management, study skills, self-care, professional networking, and more.
Want to be a Jump Start Mentor?
Jump Start mentors provide one-to-one mentoring to entering, first-year students throughout their entire first year of college. Our diverse group of peer mentors come from a wide range of majors and are selected through an application process. Jump Start Mentors are required to maintain a 2.5 GPA and uphold the mentor responsibilities as listed in the contract.
The purpose of the mentoring program is two-fold:
- Peer mentors will impact first-year students positively, serving as role models, offering suggestions, providing support and encouragement, promoting self-responsibility and self-direction.
- Peer mentors, themselves, gain an invaluable learning experience as they are provided opportunities for engaging in meaningful work, gaining important leadership skills, learning to take responsibility, and increasing contact with staff, faculty, and administration, while improving their sense of self-worth.
Interested in being a Jump Start Mentor? Apply on Handshake!