Creating High-Impact Connections and Mentor Collective

mentor collective

Hello UCR Community,

When was the last time a program on your campus exceeded participation goals by 50%?

For the University of California at Riverside, it was when they sought out Mentor Collective to help their first-year student population connect to campus…while operating remotely last fall. 

UCR’s sizable first-generation student population (56% of their total enrollment) was particularly vocal about their need for connection. So the school, led by Assistant Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Dr. Thomas Dickson, looked to mentorship to create the relationships that have proven so crucial to student success and well-being. 

The result? A targeted goal of 1,500 matches between first-year and transfer students with willing upperclassmen was exceeded by 50%, with 2,200 students ultimately getting paired through with mentors. And while we could tell you how many conversations they’ve logged (over 7500) or text messages they’ve exchanged (over 45,000), we’d prefer to share the impact those exchanges have had:

  • I’m volunteering because I would have loved to have someone with more experience than me explaining to me common things that sometimes can be scary to ask. Basically, I would like to be who I needed when I was a freshman.” Danielle, UCR Mentor
  • "Honeysha has helped me realize that I can go to someone when I need help without being scared. She has also helped me realize that it is important to take mental breaks." Victor, UCR Mentee

For more on the strategies that University of California at Riverside used to attract and empower peer mentors, we encourage you to check out the case study we developed to highlight their successes.

Learn More About UCR’s Mentor Empowerment Strategies

“This is all a volunteer force. The fact that they can just send a text message and get a quick response from a fellow student is a great way for students to feel a personal connection to the UCR community.” Dr. Thomas Dickson

Alexandria Glaize

Alexandria Glaize, 

Senior Community and Partner Engagement Manager,

Mentor Collective • Boston, MA