Signature Programs

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Connect Mentor Program for First Years

The CONNECT application is now CLOSED. Questions about logistics? Email

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. 

Mentors 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. CONNECT Leadership Development Institute (CLDI) (August 12-August 15)

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

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.