Intercultural Engagement

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Connect Mentor Program for First Years

Invitations to apply for the CONNECT Program for 2018-2019 will be sent out in late April 2018.

The CONNECT Mentoring Program for First Years is dedicated to helping first-year students become effective, successful and engaged members of Southern Methodist University. Mentors serve as a resource for students of color to assist first year students in becoming successful, independent, high achieving leaders in the SMU Community. They also assist mentees to develop personally and academically by introducing students to the many resources and variety of learning opportunities offered in the university community.


The CONNECT Program is implemented through the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at SMU and is an opportunity to connect incoming first year and transfer students of color to the SMU community both socially and academically. Through active recruitment, retention and support, CONNECT enhances the collegiate experience of all participants. There are two parts to the program:

1. RISE Institute August 11-14

2. CONNECT Mentorship Pairings (mentorship pairs participate with RISE Institute but can also be separate if the incoming student is unable to attend the Institute)

The RISE Institute (Readiness, Interdependence, Success, & Excellence) is a three-day extended orientation to SMU. During the Institute, you will interact with other new students, as well as returning students serving as small group mentors, and peer academic leaders. You will learn about support services that OMSA and other departments at SMU offer. The RISE Institute will feature leadership development and goal setting workshops, dinners and receptions with SMU faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as information on campus resources that will help you be successful. Since students will have moved in before the RISE Institute, they will be able to participate in all Mustang Corral activities with no overlap.

CONNECT Mentorship Pairings are matched over the summer and students will hear from their mentor before arriving to campus early. These mentor small groups will serve as a resource, and mentor groups are encouraged to continue to meet throughout the year and will attend CONNECT and OMSA events together.

Purpose & Goals

To assist first year and transfer students of color in their collegiate experience through peer mentoring and developing meaningful relationships that will lead to positive retention results for students of color at SMU.

Program Outcomes

  1. Retention rates for CONNECT students will meet and/or exceed all University retention rates.
  2. CONNECT students will benefit from the opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills.
  3. Mentors and Protégés provide resources for one another and develop a sense of community for students of color on campus.

Learning Outcomes

  1. CONNECT Students will be able to identify careers associated with their academic majors and co-curricular interests.
  2. CONNECT Students will be able to recognize and communicate valuable resources available for student growth.
  3. CONNECT Students will develop interpersonal skills valuable to their personal development.


For more information, email or call 214-768-4580.