Add mentorship to the curriculum
MSUM should introduce two new classes into the Dragon Core curriculum.
The first class you would have to take when you decide on your major, and in the event of changing majors, you would not have to retake the class. It would be a class where a student who has almost completed the major that you have chosen mentors you.
The second class you would take when you are done with your major. You would have to mentor a student who is entering into the major that you have just completed.
Bringing together these two students would allow both of them to learn.
When I was a sophomore, I declared a history major. I felt lost when thinking about which classes to take, which professors to avoid, which clubs to join, etc. If MSUM introduced a program in which first year students could learn from an older student, it could save the student from numerous pitfalls.
While advisors are invaluable, as a young student you often get tired of hearing from adults about what you should do.
With the guidance of a student who has the program fresh in their mind and can reflect upon what they would have done to optimize their experience, they could help a young student to get the most out of their education.
The old adage is that you learn the most when you teach.
When you are almost done with your major, you could take time to reflect upon what you would have done differently: what class you would have taken from a different professor, which classes actually go together well as a student and which club you wish you would have joined earlier to enhance your experience.
Sharing these thoughts and reflections with a younger student could help them avoid some mistakes. Sharing and guiding is also a rewarding way to give back to the institution that gave you your education.
The classes would be worth taking, because they would be given as two credit classes. The students would be assigned a mentor the first week, and both the older students’ and younger students’ class would meet at the same time.
The chair of the program the students are enrolled in should teach the class. After the initial meeting, the students would have to complete weekly paperwork assigned to them by the professor; this will call for collaboration upon the students.
The class should only be half a semester in length in order to allow time for all students to be able to complete the class when needed.
The purpose of college is to enrich the lives of young adults.
A program that allows older students to guide younger students in their chosen field of study gives students a chance to give back to their school and to help out a young student.
We all have been the lost student not knowing what classes to enroll in or which clubs to join.
BY ANDREW THOMASON