The Division of Undergraduate Education has developed a peer-to-peer mentorship program designed to connect first year students with a Peer Mentor, who has familiarity with UCSB and can both share experiences and utilize his/her extensive training to help students achieve success.
The mission of the Undergraduate Mentorship Program is to create supportive one-to-one mentoring relationships for first year freshmen students.
The Undergraduate Mentorship Program focuses on these four areas essential for a successful transition to university:
- Increased self-awareness
- Value-based goal setting
- Enhanced sense of belonging and self-esteem
- Academic skill development
The Peer Mentors
The Peer Mentors are experienced undergraduate students who have undergone extensive mentor training to work with incoming freshman students. Fall quarter training provides a foundation to have intentional conversations about the student’s interests and challenges.
Peer Mentors begin working with incoming freshman the first week of winter quarter. Together, the Mentors and participating students develop a plan for success and schedule times to meet regularly to achieve short-term goals.
Peer Mentors have a direct line of communication to college academic advising staff, and meet regularly with support staff to consult on various issues and questions brought up by mentees.
Participating as a Mentee
The Undergraduate Mentorship Program conducts outreach to invite eligible students directly. Students wishing to participate in the program who have not received an invite should email the program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentees accepted into the program stand to benefit tremendously, as the program offers both a mentoring relationship with a peer, and increased support from the college advisors. Participants will receive advice regarding study skills, test taking strategies, accessing key campus resources, time management, and setting and achieving goals.
Overall, the program aims to increase self-awareness, value-based decision making, and sense of belonging and esteem. All of these aspects of the program come together to support university transition and academic performance.
Participating as a Mentor
Mentors joining the program to work with first-year students learn valuable skills that will help them both in their academics and outside of school, including active listening, value-based assessment, and goal setting.
If you are an accomplished undergraduate wishing to become involved as a mentor to your peers, keep an eye out for the call to apply during Spring quarter.
Contact the Director
Questions? Reach out to the Program Director:
Virginia Beaufort, Ph.D.
Director, Undergraduate Mentorship Program
B.S. Psychology, Stetson University
M.S. Dual Masters in Mental Health Counseling & Marriage and Family Therapy, Barry University
Ph.D. Clinical Psychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute
About the Director:
In the 2015-2016 academic year, Dr. Beaufort developed and launched the Undergraduate Mentorship Program (UMP), a peer-to-peer mentorship program to help first-year students succeed. The mission of UMP has been to create supportive one-to-one mentoring relationships for first-year students to improve retention, foster student success, and help build an increased sense of belonging. Dr. Beaufort’s mentorship approach incorporates self-awareness and mindfulness activities, providing a framework for students to develop their emotional intelligence.
In addition to her academic work, Dr. Beaufort is a licensed mental health counselor and depth psychologist. Depth psychology focuses on uncovering deeper unconscious motives to alleviate painful psychological symptoms by cultivating greater self-awareness and meaning in life. When coaching, she uses an integrated depth and existential approach that incorporates emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and mind/body wellness to guide people towards a more meaningful and purpose-driven life. Dr. Beaufort has experience developing mentorship, coaching, and wellness programs. She also specializes in the treatment of eating disorders and physiognomy.