As a span of time, three weeks can seem like an eternity or it can whisk by. It often depends on whether you are waiting to go on vacation or already there. A chilling statistic revealed at the recent “In Pursuit of Excellence” Mentoring Summit is associated with the same time period. Researchers have found that students who do not make a connection at their college or university by their third week are less likely to continue their studies.
“One out of every four first-year students drops out,” said Terry Aaron, Southeast Campus Continuing Education director. “For African-American students, the statistics are even worse with as many as 60 percent of them never graduating.”
The establishment of mentoring programs has been identified as an effective way to reverse those trends. “Mentoring programs are instrumental in facilitating student success because they enable and empower participants. They promote persistence, help students face academic challenges and expose students to diverse economic, education and social experiences,” said Aaron, who coordinated the Summit as vice president of programs for the Tarrant County Chapter of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education (TABPHE).
The Village Mentoring Program, sponsored by TABPHE, and the Trinity River African-American Male Mentoring Program (TRAAMMP) celebrated their work with their 33 mentees during the Summit Awards Ceremony Luncheon. Four of the students received scholarships. Scholarship winners and their scholarships are Wallace Akins, Follett Book Store Scholarship; Cherise Jackson, Cambridge University Press Scholarship; Cedric Landers, Aaron/Davis-Mohammed Scholarship; and Tomasina Thompson, TABPHE Co-Founder Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley Scholarship.
The Summit was attended by nearly 270 participants and was made possible in part by the following sponsors: TCC Continuing Education, TCC Student Activities, Cambridge University Press, Chick-fil-A, Follett Book Store, Jewelry by Regina Harris, Lewis Warren Jr., Mary Blue, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Pearson Longman, TCC Community Outreach, TABPHE Tarrant County Chapter and the Women’s Center.
As a result of the summit, nine additional students signed up and one new mentor was recruited, said South Campus Academic Support Services Coordinator Nicole Minor, who coordinates TABPHE’s Village Mentoring Program.
“We want to increase the number of African-American male mentors and partner with student organizations,” Minor said. “It doesn’t take a lot of time – just the consistency of spending 15-30 minutes with a student each week on their campus to develop a trusting relationship.”
Just knowing that someone knows their name makes a difference for students. “Students are more likely to persist when they know somebody is cheering them on,” she said.
To sign up on your campus to help with TABPHE’s mentoring program, contact Minor or the following campus mentoring liaisons George Edwards, Northeast Campus; Michelle Davis-Mohammed, South Campus; or Sharrod Perry, Southeast Campus. Contact Freddie Sandifer Jr. for information about TRAAMMP.
Learn how the mentoring programs are helping TCC’s students, why two professors are mentors and why Summit speakers Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and CBS 11 & TXA 21 Anchor Keith Garvin share their experiences by viewing the videos below.
See videos from some of the mentees below.
SO Mentee and Mentoring Summit Panelist
SO Mentee and Scholarship Recipient
TR Mentee and Scholarship Recipient
SE Mentee and Scholarship Recipient
SE Mentee and Scholarship Recipient