Campus Collaborating on Design of New Mentoring Networks Program

Networks Will Support Incoming Students with Transition to College

Hartford, CT, December 5, 2014 – Planning for Trinity’s new mentoring networks program got under way recently with a series of small-group meetings of students, faculty, and staff members gathering with President Joanne Berger-Sweeney to discuss ideas for the initiative, which is designed to support incoming students from the moment they first arrive on campus.

Preliminary plans for the program call for all incoming students to be assigned to one of five mentoring networks. The networks are designed to connect students to their peers, creating an immediate sense of belonging; to strengthen mentoring of students outside the classroom, inspiring them to cultivate knowledge; to connect students to Hartford, equipping them to take advantage of our city’s offerings; and to prepare students for life by developing engaged, civically minded persons.

The mentoring networks program combines all of the best elements of the previously proposed house system, but without the high cost of physical campus changes. Key features of the networks are self-governance, opportunities for leadership, programs on campus and in Hartford, intramurals, mentoring, and service.

Each network will comprise about 120 first-year students who live in Jones, Elton, Jackson, Wheaton, Smith, North, and Funston. After the first year, there will be no commitment to living in a specific residence hall. A central space on campus for the mentoring networks will allow students to prepare meals, eat together, and talk in comfortable lounge spaces.

Support for each network will be given by a team composed of a dean, faculty mentors, a transition fellow (a recent liberal arts college graduate), upper-level student peer mentors, career development mentors, and wellness mentors.

Student input is invaluable to the development of the program, and student teams are in the process of being formed to help design a detailed plan to give life to the new mentoring networks system.

View President Berger-Sweeney’s November 11 video message for the campus community and a fact sheet with more information about the Trinity mentoring networks.