Issue 514: 10 / 14 / 2013

The SMARTS Program Sustains Its Momentum

The Fall 2013 SMARTS Orientation ...

The Fall 2013 SMARTS Orientation was the largest one yet.

Southwest’s SMARTS (Southwest Mentors Advancing Retention, Teamwork, and Success) program continues to gain momentum, in part due to the recommendations of faculty advisors, and also because the students themselves recognize the benefits of the resources and support that mentors bring to the academic experience. According to Dr. Cynthia Calhoun, executive director of Retention and Graduation, the Fall 2013 SMARTS Orientation, held on September 13 at the Macon Cove Campus, drew the largest number of mentees since the program began in spring 2011.

The SMARTS program describes a mentor as a faculty or staff volunteer who is willing to devote individual attention to an assigned student. Moreover, it refers to a mentee as a student who volunteers to partner with a faculty or staff member, and agrees to seek and receive coaching and guidance related to possible challenges associated with goal setting and career planning. In all, the SMARTS program owes its success to the integrated efforts of all involved.

Critical to the mentee’s growth is a required shadowing experience with their mentor, another instructor/employee, or a trusted associate outside of the institution in the student's field of study. At the culmination of the program mentees present a short paper recapping their experience.

View the SMARTS Photo Gallery.