Compass is committed to supporting its students throughout their entire undergraduate career, and one way it does that is by running a mentoring program that pairs Compass undergraduates with graduate student mentors.
Throughout the academic year, Compass students meet one-on-one with their mentors to discuss whatever might be on their minds: classes, schedules, study habits, research opportunities, or just life in general. Compass mentors help their mentees navigate the ins and outs of college life. They understand that many of the challenges faced by undergrads can cause stress and frustration, but that these challenges can be overcome; indeed, many of them have overcome similar challenges themselves. They are also plugged in to the research life of the physical science departments and can help advise mentees who are interested in pursuing research and internship opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, Compass students can count on their mentors to look out for them as they make their ways through their undergraduate careers.
Compass is in the process of piloting two changes to its mentoring program. The first is the introduction of mentoring triads, three-person groups consisting of a freshman or sophomore, a junior or senior, and a graduate student. The inclusion of the older undergrad will be a valuable addition to the mentoring relationship: not only does that person have experience being an undergrad at Berkeley (which most graduate students don’t), but the older undergrad will also gain valuable experience by co-mentoring the younger undergrad with the graduate student.
The other exciting change to the mentoring program is the addition of professional development workshops. Three times per semester, these workshops will bring together all of the Compass mentors and mentees to discuss issues broadly applicable to everyone. For the 2012-2013 academic year, the dates and topics of the workshops will be:
- September 8: Orientation to the Mentoring Program
- October 6: Models of Learning
- November 3: Interpreting Grades as Feedback
- February 2: Setting Goals
- March 2: Dealing with Stress Productively
- April 6: Updating Resumes and CVs
All workshops will take place from 11AM until 2PM in 375 LeConte.
Resources for Compass Mentors
The Berkeley Compass Project mentoring program is funded in part by grants from the Berkeley Science Network, the National Science Foundation, and the Mitchell Kapor Foundation.