Emerging Scholars Mentoring Program
Located in Greensboro, Bennett College is a small, private, historically black college for women. Bennett College offers what is known as the Emerging Scholars Mentoring Program, which provides a layered support network for students that has shown increased levels of persistence and graduation. The program’s roughly 35 participants are selected based on their potential for personal, academic, and professional success if provided a certain level of targeted support. Participants are assigned their own personal adviser who are volunteers from both on and off campus. The program offers mentoring, tutoring, and academic tracking.
For example, developmental courses are offered in addition to an in-person check-in once a week with peer tutors and professional advisers. If a student’s standing hasn’t improved after the first year, then more tailored support is provided, including a pairing between students and mentors for a weekly one-on-one approach.
Since the program was implemented in 2013, retention rates have jumped from 54 percent to 83 percent.1
In addition, Bennett College has entered into an articulation agreement with seven nearby colleges through which they can offer shared courses and seamless credit transfer. Increased academic options and opportunities cater to the student and allow for greater rates of completion.
Michelle Goryn is a writer and public policy consultant in Raleigh, NC.
Paige C. Worsham is Senior Policy Counsel with the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research and conducted the interviews and convenings for this project.
The N.C. Center for Public Policy Research is grateful to numerous, generous supporters. Major funding for this project is provided by the Lumina Foundation for Education, with additional funding from the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund, and the Hillsdale Fund.