About us

The Mentor-Scholar Program is a school-based mentoring program that strives to enrich the lives of students in our community. We match middle-school and high-school students in Oswego County school districts with trained and supported undergraduate mentors who help provide the academic and social support necessary for each student to achieve their full potential. We work to build students' self-confidence and self-efficacy while giving them the tools they need to be effective learners. We also provide an opportunity for SUNY Oswego undergraduates to impact their community while gaining valuable professional skills for their future careers and lives.

A 2010 State Education Department report on graduation rates in Oswego City School District found that 11 percent of students who began high school in 2006 had dropped out by 2010, while 73 percent of their peers graduated with Regents or local diplomas. The remainder were still trying or had converted to other diploma programs, such as the GED. This need for a retention initiative inspired a partnership between SUNY Oswego and the Oswego City School District: The Mentor-Scholar Program. The program was developed to provide academic support and positive role modeling at the middle school and high school levels to improve graduation rates.

In fall 2011, 35 SUNY Oswego undergraduate mentors were placed at Oswego Middle School. Today, over 140 mentors serve throughout four school districts: Oswego City School District, Fulton City School District, Red Creek Central School District and the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation. Together, mentors provide more than 4,000 hours of direct service to their community each year.

Mentor commitment and responsibilities
Mentors provide academic tutoring and social support to district-identified "opportunity" students through personalized one-to-one relationships. Mentors help mentees develop effective study habits and interpersonal skills for school and life success. Mentors assist mentees in creating academic goals and provide the necessary support to see their mentees achieve them. In addition to regular mentoring sessions, mentors and mentees also participate in service projects and educational field trips to help them connect with their community and transformative higher education experiences.

Mentor training
Mentors must complete an application and interview in order to participate in the program. Mentors must also enroll in GST 311. To earn course credit, mentors will participate in mentoring sessions and three discussion-based classes each semester. In preparation for each class, mentors will read and reflect upon scholarly articles related to mentoring. Classes will provide an opportunity for mentors to discuss successes and challenges, as well as receive support from peers and the project coordinator. Prior to meeting their mentees, mentors will attend an on-site orientation to familiarize themselves with the building and to learn more about the school culture and demographics.

Mentor-Scholar Program
145 Marano Campus Center
SUNY Oswego
Oswego, NY 13126
Phone: 315.312.3812
Email the project coordinator, Scott Ball, at scott.ball@oswego.edu.