The university’s Alumni Association Mentor Program was recently awarded the “Silver level Circle of Excellence” from the Council of Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
For the typical college student, career discernment is often a difficult and complicated subject. Sponsored by the Marquette University Alumni Association, the Mentor Program hopes to bring clarity and inspiration to students across all academic areas.
The program pairs student mentees with alumni mentors, in a one-on-one model based on area of study and career interest. The pair work together during one academic year to build a meaningful, mutually beneficial, professional relationship.
Launched in 2013, the program has seen a 330 percent growth since its first year. There is currently a wait list for willing mentors while student interest also continues to grow each year. In the 2018-19 academic year, the program saw a record 250 applicants for 130 opportunities.
Not only is the program in high demand, but 100 percent of participants would recommend the program to fellow students and alumni – and more than 90 percent of mentors and mentees complete their established goals by the end of the year.
Alumni mentors reside in more 25 states, many of whom travel to Milwaukee at some point during the year for program events or just to connect face-to-face with their mentee.
The program partners with many of the colleges and departments across campus, including:
- The College of Business Administration
- The College of Health Sciences
- The Diederich College of Communication
- The Graduate School
- The Klingler College of Arts and Sciences
- The Opus College of Engineering
- The Honors Program
- The Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship
- The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion
- The College of Nursing
- Trinity Fellows
- Urban Scholars
“Thanks to the extraordinary commitment of Marquette alumni, students and faculty, CASE recently recognized Marquette Mentors as the gold standard for mentoring initiatives to help students with career preparation and discernment,” said Dan DeWeerdt, senior engagement director in University Advancement. “It’s truly a reflection of Marquette alumni worldwide who want to give back to their alma mater in a meaningful way.”
In 2016, the Mentor program won another CASE award for “Best Student Alumni Programming” in its district. The program has been recognized nationally at various events and conferences as an example of a successful student/alumni professional development partnership.
“This program, something done by many institutions across the country, had such impressive outcomes that we couldn’t pass it over for an award,” according to CASE judges. “The satisfaction ratings and quantitative data on their program attendees demonstrate that the program is working.”
CASE was born in 1974 when two important forces in the higher education arena joined: the American Alumni Council and the American College Public Relations Association. A global association for professionals in advancement, CASE seeks to inspire, challenge and equip communities of professionals to act effectively and with integrity to champion the success of their institutions.
With more than 3,600 colleges and universities in its membership, CASE specifically works with those in the areas of alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and advancement services who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society.