Mentoring at Minority-Serving Institutions

Mentoring at Minority-Serving Institutions

John Bannister (Johnson C. Smith University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8488-9.ch005

Abstract

This chapter highlights mentorship strategies of a southeastern Historically Black College and University (HBCU) adult degree program. In serving the nontraditional student population of this Black university, the institutions have cultivated strategies used to mentor and motivate adult students to achieve successful outcomes. Some of these strategies are built around activities and organizations designed to include adult students while other measures can be contributed to the development of the family like atmosphere that the college provides nontraditional students on campus and virtually. These insights were gathered from the experiences of current and previous students of the program as well as faculty and administrators through informal interviews and observation. This work will first address the literature on mentoring adult learners, highlight the strategies that were used to develop the college's approach to adult mentorship, and share examples. The chapter will close with recommendations and insights on how our approach could be replicated at other minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
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Adult Degree Programs

The Adult Degree program is an accelerated program focused on adult students. The program allows adult students the opportunity to earn a degree at an accelerated pace with flexible options, and at the same time still enjoy the traditional undergraduate college experience (homecoming, student activities, and other social organizations on campus). Degree program courses are offered in two eight-week terms per semester (four terms per academic year). The program has grown from 39 students, graduating its first 11 students to over 200 degree seeking nontraditional students. The adult degree program has been the fastest growing program on campus since its inception.

The Adult Degree program offers degrees in Business Administration, Sport Management, Social Work, and Criminology. In 2015, the college offered its first fully online degree programs (Business Administration and Sport Management which they are authorized to offer in all 50 states. In addition to its degree program, the university offers several certificates including an English as a second language program and the college houses the liaison for military students/veterans. In July 2017, the program merged with the College of Professional Studies to form a college that serves both traditional and nontraditional Business Administration and Sport Management students, while also offering degree programs in Health and Human Performance to traditionally aged students.

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