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Proud TU Be First Mentoring Program

The Center for Academic Equity recognizes that college is a tough place to navigate. We've created a program to help you succeed at a place like Tulane University. Our Proud TU Be First Mentoring Program is a fall semester-long program designed to provide first generation low income college students with individualized mentorship and guidance. Students will be paired with first-generation identifying faculty and staff members who are passionate about bridging the gap that often exists with first generation college students. In this program, students will build strong relationships with their mentor, gain networking opportunities, get connected to valuable resources, and cultivate a set of skills needed for successful Tulane experience. 

Each mentorship pairing is selected with intentionality to help each of the programs’ participants succeed. Students will engage in one on one conversations, large group outings and socials, and the occasional free coffee break with their mentor and other mentee/mentor pairings. This program is your ticket to building community and getting connected to what’s happening in our little Tulane bubble. Mentorship sessions are tailored to help students set goals, gage their interests, and strive to meet their greatest ambitions at Tulane and beyond.

Program Components

As part of this program, strong relationships will be built between mentor and mentee, participants will gain cultural capital related to personal development and academic opportunities, awareness of resources on and off-campus will increase, and skills needed for success at Tulane will develop.

Mentor Mentee pairings will have the opportunity to partake in:

  1. Networking & Professional Development: Proud TU Be First Mentoring Program matches first-generation students with members of the First-Generation Faculty and Staff Council. These faculty and staff members have advanced degrees in their field of study or are working in a career of shared interest. The program provides an opportunity to engage in networking, professional development events, and leadership training.
  2. One on One Advising: Mentors will check-in with their mentees bi-weekly throughout the fall semester. These one on one sessions will provide opportunities to dedicate time to discuss or address questions about their student experience. 
  3. Community Building: Outside of mentor-mentee bi-weekly check-ins, the Center for Academic Equity will host four opportunities for mentor and mentee pairings to engage with other first generation faculty, staff and undergraduate pairings. The program will kick-off with an official matching ceremony.  All program participants will take part in a fun and creative unveiling of and meet & greet with their mentor. In the months of September and October, CAE will host two optional socials on or off campus to give mentors and mentees an opportunity to escape the Tulane bubble and engage in some good old fashion bonding. In December, after the holiday break, CAE will host an end of the semester celebration to celebrate the success of the program and each student’s successful completion of the fall semester. 
How to Apply

CAE will begin accepting applications from current first generation low income students, staff and faculty at the end of April 2021. Please stay tuned. 

Benefits for Participating

For Mentors

  • Opportunity to develop and foster a personal lasting relationship with an undergraduate student
  • Opportunity to make a difference in a student's life
  • Opportunity to cultivate, network and socialize with the Tulane first generation community
  • Free swag Proud TU Be First Swag

For Mentees

Each mentorship pairing is selected with intentionality to help each of the programs’ participants succeed. Students will engage in one on one conversations, large group outings and socials, and the occasional free coffee break with their mentor and other mentee/mentor pairings. This program is your ticket to building community and getting connected to what’s happening in our little Tulane bubble. Mentorship sessions are tailored to help students set goals, gage their interests, and strive to meet their greatest ambitions at Tulane and beyond. 

Additional Benefits:

  • Academic and professional guidance specifically for first-generation college students
  • Networking opportunities faculty, staff and leaders within the first-generation community
  • Development of a personal and lasting relationship with a faculty or staff mentor
  • Potential opportunities for research, internships and professional development 
  • Opportunity to cultivate, network and socialize with the Tulane first generation community
  • Free swag Proud TU Be First Swag
  • Free social outings in the city of New Orleans

 

FAQs

Who is Eligible?

All first generation or low income identifying students can apply to participate in the program.

What is a First-Generation Student?

A first-generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor's degree.

First generation college students at Tulane University have many reasons to be proud. They are the first members of their family to complete a bachelor’s degree, which is an incredible achievement. A strong network of support can play a significant role in their academic accomplishments. At the Center for Academic Equity, it’s our job to empower first-generation college students by connecting them to educational resources, summer grants, and opportunities for campus involvement.

How do I Know if I'm Low Income?

Pell Grant eligibility generally signals low income status. However, there are many factors. If you contact the Associate Director for Academic Equity, Tomika Smith, tsmith51@tulane.edu, she can work with you and partners at financial aid to determine your status.

How do I Know if I'm Low Income?

Pell Grant eligibility generally signals low income status. However, there are many factors. If you contact the Associate Director for Academic Equity, Tomika Smith, tsmith51@tulane.edu, she can work with you and partners at financial aid to determine your status.

How do I Apply?

CAE will begin accepting applications from current first generation low income students, staff and faculty at the end of April 2021.

How Long is my Commitment to the Program?

When signing up for this program the Center for Academic Equity requires that you commit a minimum of one full fall semester and 1-3 days in the spring semester to the program. The Center for Academic Equity will help mentor-mentee pairings to facilitate bi-weekly one on one check ins and will host four mentor-mentee large group socials. In the spring mentor-mentee pairings will be invited to participate in the CAE’s annual mentor-mentee day as a team. Though it is not a requirement to continue one on one meetings in the spring, we encourage all participants to heavily consider it.