Recognizing Each Others' Ability to Conquer the Hill
Kenyon's mentoring program is titled Recognizing Each Other's Ability to Conquer the Hill (R.E.A.C.H.). Consistent with best practices in the area of minority peer mentoring programs, R.E.A.C.H. recognizes the need to assist first-year and second-year minority and first generation students in adjusting academically, emotionally, and socially to Kenyon College. Difficulty in adjusting can very easily have a negative effect on a student's academic performance and social acclimation. The first semester is a critical one for students in transition. Most first-year students decide within the first six to eight weeks whether a college is a good fit for them and whether they intend to stay and complete the semester. Evidence from researchers in higher education suggests that peer support may be extremely important for the academic adjustment of college students. The R.E.A.C.H. Mentoring Program intends to provide support and stability while addressing issues facing first and second-year minority and first generation students.
The overall goal of the program is to retain targeted students by providing them with support and guidance from mentors who are able to offer support, insight, and positive reinforcement. The program's specific goals are:
- to assist in the acclimation process of first-year students
- emphasize academic preparation and success
- build a social network among program participants
- provide a racial/ethnic or cultural link on campus
- encourage active participation in the greater campus community by creating a level of comfort and confidence in participants
- highlight available campus resources and encourage participants to utilize them
- retain first year minority students after their freshman year.
Through its second component, the R.E.A.C.H. Tutorial Program, mentees, mentors, and sophomores receive peer or professional tutoring in courses for which they are under-prepared, or in which they are experiencing academic difficulties. Student tutors are approved by the Dean of Academic Advising.
The Sophomore Experience Program (SEP) is the third component of R.E.A.C.H. Sophomores are usually faced with developmental and academic issues. The purpose of the SEP is to assist sophomore students in transitioning from their sophomore year to their junior year, essentially helping them avoid the "sophomore slump". The specific goals of the program are:
- to assist in the process of declaring a major during the sophomore year
- provide one-on-one career counseling and guidance; provide intensive individual academic advising
- assist in the retention of second-year minority students
If you're interested in participating in R.E.A.C.H. or have any questions, please contact Chris Kennerly, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Multicultural Affairs at 740-427-5160 or email@example.com. You may also contact student coordinators Andrea Kidd '10, firstname.lastname@example.org or Daziah Merideth '11, email@example.com.