Peer mentoring aims to boost minority graduation rates

November 18, 2013

From “NWTC mentoring program aims to boost minority graduation rates” — Northeast Wisconsin Technical College launches a new peer mentor program.

It’s aimed to improve the graduation rate for minority students.

It can be difficult for any first year student to navigate the first year of college, but some have a tougher time than others.

“We always hear the achievement gap, minority students are more affected,” said Gema Garcia, the program coordinator.

NWTC is trying to close that gap through a new, peer mentoring program.

A $15,000 grant allowed the tech college to hire ten mentors to work with minority students.

“Helping them advocate for themselves and eliminating some of the barriers they went through will truly impact their continuation of college,” explained Garcia.

“We touch base on how they’re doing in school, if they’re struggling in class. If they are, I would refer them to the resources that are available here,” added La Vue, a mentor.

The mentors meet with their mentee a few times a week based on their schedules.

So far, students say the program is helpful.

“To have someone who is similar in age that can relate to them, someone that can help them out. Someone that is more like a friend, but you have a professional level there instead of always having teachers come down on a student,” explained Esun Hudson, a mentee.

“I’m the oldest in my family, so I don’t really have anyone to advise me or anyone to go to and having someone my age that is willing to help me through the process is pretty encouraging,” added Laura Billagomez, another mentee.

Twenty-four students have applied to be paired with a mentor.

Several spots are still available.

Fox Valley Technical College has a similar program called “Brother to Brother”which is an initiative to increase graduation rates among male African American students.





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