Adjusting to college life has always been a challenge for many freshmen, sophomore, and transfer students. During a critical time of adjustment, even a little bit of help can make a huge difference. With that in mind, Manhattan College’s School of Liberal Arts (SOLA) recently introduced its own Liberal Arts Mentoring Program, called LAMP.
LAMP aims to connect lowerclassmen with upperclassmen who might have similar majors or areas of interest and helps them adapt to college. Mentors can also assist underclassmen access resources and can act as liaisons between students and faculty.
“Starting college can be confusing and scary, and although the faculty in the School of Liberal Arts are wonderful, sometimes speaking to someone your own age is more comforting,” said Caroline King ’23, one of three LAMP mentors. “Also, there are other schools at Manhattan College that have more opportunities for mentorship and we wanted to bring that same experience to SOLA.”
The program is limited to students within the School of Liberal Arts, and mentors can be sophomores, juniors, or seniors. Calissa McNeely ’23, another student mentor, says the program is also available for students considering study in the School of Liberal Arts.
“Although all our experiences are uniquely different, I think there is a common desire to connect with our peers,” said McNeely.
The mentors are available to help students with a variety of issues ranging from difficulties in navigating class registration to the sometimes complex process of choosing a major or minor.
LAMP was originally developed by DeVaughn Harris ’21. Harris proposed the idea to Cory Blad, Ph.D., dean of the School of Liberal Arts, and the two began collaborating on the program. Harris developed the program with the goal of improving the supportive and educational environment for students.
“There are a million things that can make a college situation stressful and having someone you can text or talk to about everything from successes to fears, seems like something we should all have more of in our lives, said Blad. “I couldn't be more proud of the work our LAMP mentors do."
At the beginning of the semester, students in the School of Liberal Arts were contacted to determine interest in becoming either a mentor or mentee. While the program is still new, things are off to a promising start.
“We recently had the first mentor/mentee meet and greet, and soon we will have a better idea of the areas that might need greater attention,” said Emilia O’Neil ’24, a student mentor. “We are seeing a need for support and reassurance for younger students who are still acclimating to college life and learning how to balance coursework, explore different degree plans, and how to develop an academic support system at the school.”
Mentors and mentees are matched in part by their mutual academic interests in order to make the relationship as productive as possible.
“Our goal as the co-directors of the program is to develop a cohort of SOLA students who are passionate and dedicated to the holistic Manhattan College experience,” O’Neil said. “The mentor acts as a liaison between students, faculty, staff, and administrators. If a student has a question or concern that we are unable to address, we would connect the student to the appropriate faculty member, administrator or health/counseling services.”
If interested in becoming a mentor or mentee, students can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
–by Taylor Carroll '17, '23 (M.S.)