MAP Program: Calling All Faculty
As faculty members at MIT, most of us have had mentors at some point in our careers. Those individuals have surely been invaluable in our own development. Formerly recipients of this great gift of mentoring, we should now be taking on that role for others.
You are probably mentoring, formally or informally, faculty members junior to you, or graduate students in your department or lab, and you know how rewarding it can be to serve in this role. The pipeline to these positions starts much earlier, however. Undergraduates, too, have great mentoring needs, and too few of us are involved in mentoring at that level. The Mentor Advocate Partnership (MAP) Program run by the Office of Minority Education is an excellent opportunity for you to guide an undergraduate student in his or her introduction to academia.
Studies show that students who are integrated and involved in both the academic and social mainstream of campus life are more likely to graduate and have greater satisfaction with their collegiate experience – especially those reporting strong ties with faculty. MAP is a volunteer mentoring program seeking to foster the student’s holistic development along academic and non-academic dimensions.
Mentors have the opportunity to guide MIT freshmen and sophomores, known as Protégés, through building relationships, monitoring academic performance and personal well-being, offering encouragement, or providing a proactive support network.
You will know you have had a positive impact on a Protégé when you hear them say “Thanks – that was really helpful,” or “You gave me an outlet – someone to talk to about things that were going on in my life – both the good and the bad.”
Based upon the number of fall 2011 applicants, we anticipate serving approximately 100 protégés (a 14% increase) in the 2012-13 academic year. With 93% of freshmen protégés requesting faculty mentors and only 22% of our mentors being faculty, we need your support!
As a mentor, you can offer a number of benefits to your protégé, including 1) improved self-confidence; 2) eased discussions around academic and social difficulties; and 3) personal and professional development. As a mentor, you will ultimately have the opportunity to become a supporter, connector, champion, and friend.
MAP partnerships are designed to extend for two years, but the Program’s aim is for the connection between mentor and protégé to continue after the “formal” period. The estimated time commitment for a mentor with one (1) protégé is 6-8 hours per semester. This includes three (3) hour-long meetings throughout the academic semester, time for e-mails and/or phone conversations, and attending MAP events, including the end-of-year celebration, whenever possible. MAP aims to provide a community of support among the network of mentors and protégés at MIT, and is designed to complement the current undergraduate advisor system.
This program clearly has some structure, but it also makes time for plenty of fun. To build a strong community where protégés and mentors can find resources in a close-knit group, MAP also holds events off campus, such as a “Night on the Town” and a competition in which MAP participants are encouraged to deliberate the finer points of local ice cream shops.
As faculty, we are the most valuable resources to our students. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Program Coordinator Antonio Perry (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions or fill out a mentor application online at ome.mit.edu/programs-services/mentor-advocate-partnership. The Early Deadline for applications is May 1, 2012, while the Final Deadline is August 1, 2012.