Mentoring Minority Students at Fielding Graduate University
Malena Castillo, Student, School of Psychology; Don Talley, Student, School of Psychology
The mentoring of minority students at institutions of higher learning has been demonstrated to contribute to their academic success (Grover, 2006; McGregor, 2006). There has been significant interest for several years in the benefits of mentoring most notably in the fields of education, business, and psychology. Research has specifically surrounded the influence a mentor may have over the mentee. The focus of mentoring programs has increased in the area of underserved and “at risk” minority populations as mentees who may find such programs to be of benefit. Research conducted on available programs largely has member of the dominant culture acting in the mentor role. However, with the increased populations of students of color and diversity in higher learning institutions, there is a notable percentage increase of availability of these students to serve as mentors. In addition, many students from diverse backgrounds have expressed an interest in having mentors who are from the same racial and/or ethnic group with whom they identify. Fielding Graduate University intends to develop a research project that will survey the needs and demands of students from diverse cultures at the school to determine what factors may be important in the mentor/mentee relationship within the multicultural population. This information will then be used to create a mentoring program at Fielding to assist students with academic performance, professional development, and assist in navigating the nuances indigenous to the doctoral psychology program.