Puente Mentor FAQ’s
What is the Puente Program?
- The Puente Program works to assist students to transfer from community college to four-year colleges and universities. Puente integrates three basic components – Counseling, English instruction, and Mentoring. Through the counseling component, students meet with the Puente counselor on a regular basis to discuss their academic goals and to develop educational plans to help them achieve their goals. Through the English component, students work to improve their reading and writing skills. For the mentoring component, students are matched with professionals from the community who can offer them guidance and support. The Puente Program also sponsors a number of cultural enrichment activities to deepen student involvement with Latino culture and history.
What is my role as a mentor?
- Students look up to mentors as role models of academic and professional success. Mentors are asked to be supportive, encouraging and motivating. The primary function of the mentor/student relationship is to let the students know that there is a caring, supportive person who is willing to listen, share experiences, and offer encouragement. Students also look to mentors for guidance in the arenas of professional and career exploration.
As a Puente mentor, what kind of time commitment would I have to make?
- Puente asks the mentors to donate two hours per month. These hours are arranged to suit the convenience of the mentor/student team. To assist with this, we encourage phone and/or e-mail contact, participation in our Puente events, and one work site visit for the student.
Must a mentor have a university degree?
- It would be ideal to have mentors who could answer student questions about the college experience since the Puente program is for community college students looking to transfer to a four-year university. But it is not a requirement if the mentor is a professional already working in the student’s field of interest.
How are the mentor/student matches made?
- Students and mentors are matched by professional or social interests, by aptitudes, by backgrounds, or by personalities. Mentors who are already established in the student’s field of interest can be invaluable resources, but at such an early stage of their college careers, most students benefit from a mentoring relationship with any successful college graduate, regardless of the professional field.
Will I always be assigned a student?
- Sometimes, if we have a greater number of mentors than students, not everyone is assigned a student. In this case, mentors are often asked to be “class mentors” and are called upon to work with the program as a guest speaker, etc. Sometimes, two mentors may be asked to share in mentoring one student, or a mentor may be assigned two students. Puente is flexible about these types of relationships and strives to accommodate both the needs of the mentors and the students.
How long am I committing myself to the program?
- Mentor commitments are for one academic year (two semesters) only. Mentors are asked at the start of the following school year if they intend to recommit to the program.
Why do people become mentors for the Puente Program?
- Puente mentors report getting a great deal of satisfaction out of the mentoring relationship.
Students are extremely appreciative of the time, energy, and insight mentors are able
to provide. Making the connection with community college Puente students allows mentors
to give back to the community in concrete ways. Mentors get to see the growth and
development of their students and share in their success upon completion of the program.
- Puente mentors report getting a great deal of satisfaction out of the mentoring relationship. Students are extremely appreciative of the time, energy, and insight mentors are able to provide. Making the connection with community college Puente students allows mentors to give back to the community in concrete ways. Mentors get to see the growth and development of their students and share in their success upon completion of the program.