Students apply to mentor first-year transfer students

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    In an effort to ease the transition process for transfer students, Student Development Services is creating a mentor program for incoming transfer students.

    The Transfer Mentor program will pair transfer students with a current transfer student, who has been at TCU for a couple of semesters, to mentor and advise them.

    First-year transfer student and nutrition major, Alicea Bonnema, said the transition process for her was difficult, especially when trying to relate to other students and to find a network of friends.

    “I didn’t know anybody here,” she said. “I felt like a freshman, but it was pretty awkward for me because I’m old enough to be a senior.”

    Keri Cyr, assistant director of TCU Transitions in the Transfer Center in SDS, said her and her colleague Brooke Shuman developed the Transfer Mentor program. To do this, they compared the former transfer program, the Transfer Student Advisory Board (TSAB), with those of other schools.

    Cyr said the Transfer Mentor program is an enhanced model of what used to be the TSAB, which consisted of 12 student volunteers.

    Unlike with the former program, this new model will give the mentor positions to only three students.

    “Since there are only three positions, we wanted them to all be transfer students,” Cyr said.

    Cyr said having mentors who have gone through the transfer experience will help the incoming transfer students better relate to them.

    Alexandra Plancarte, first-year transfer student and journalism major, said she applied for one of the positions.

    “I applied because I want to help transfer students have an easier time adjusting to their life at TCU, while also informing them about the resources available on this campus,” Plancarte said.

    Cyr said the structure of the new program consists of three different contract periods: summer, fall and spring.

    Students selected for these positions are required to attend a series of training sessions similar to those of Frog Camp facilitators and Orientation Leaders. Cyr said they are expected to better prepare them to serve as mentors for the incoming class of transfer students.

    Mentors are expected to attend Frogs First Facilitator Trainings, Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training, Transfer 101 content (a crash course in that serves as an orientation for transfer students) and Understanding the Transfer Student.

    While the Transfer Mentor program will equip the mentors with leadership skills and the necessary resources to carry out their duties, the new structure of the program will also give each mentor $700 compensation per contract period.

    The interviews of the candidates who applied to the mentor positions are expected to be conducted before finals.

    The contracts of those who are selected and accept the position will be signed before Spring Commencement.