AZA Mentor Program
The Arizona Mentors program pairs University of Arizona students with faculty and staff members. It is our intent that, with the support and guidance of a mentor, students will transition successfully into college life, their academic paths, and their professional communities.
Mentors are paired with their mentees at the beginning of the school year, based on common interests and/or academic discipline. We strongly recommend that mentees and mentors connect at least twice a semester. Outcomes have been immensely positive, as many mentors and mentees have constructed lasting, mutually beneficial relationships built upon a foundation of support.
We strongly encourage students to initiate contact with their mentors and to direct the relationship as much as possible. Our mentors are faculty and staff members that are passionate about student success, and they are here to help students on their journey. Our mentors volunteer their time and energy, and we find that when students make the same investment, strong, purposeful relationships develop. In general, ASA recommends that students meet with their mentors at least twice a semester. Many students, however, find their mentors to be valuable resources and meet with them more frequently.
Are you a UA student that would like a faculty or staff mentor?
As a mentee in the Arizona Mentors program, you will have the opportunity to get to know a faculty or staff member outside of the classroom. These connections tend to be deeper, and many of our students find that the individual support and encouragement is helpful as they make decisions about their future. You'll share meaningful interactions in less formal settings that we hope will complement your academic experience. There are many outstanding resources on campus, and we believe having a mentor is a valuable part of student success on campus. A mentor can help you transition into and through college life, consider opportunities that you may not have thought of otherwise, and reflect on what personal and professional values are most important to you. A mentor can also help you make effective decisions as you pursue your goals as a student – and as a future professional. To enroll as a mentee in the Arizona Mentors program, please visit our student mentee form.
Are you a UA faculty or staff member and would like to mentor a student?
As a mentor in our program, you'll provide encouragement and support to students that have chosen to participate and have asked for a mentor. Though each student that enrolls has a different set of needs and expectations, your presence and support are of prime importance. By providing meaningful interactions in less formal settings, outside the classroom environment, you'll help your student navigate the transition into college and beyond. Mentors have found that, along the way, they have gained a great deal of satisfaction, insight, and joy from their commitment to student success. Please visit our Mentor Guide [link to pdf of Mentor Guide] to learn more about the history of the program and what mentors have found helpful in the past. To volunteer to serve as an Arizona Mentor, please visit our mentor volunteer form.
We expect that students enrolled in the program initiate contact with their mentors. We ask that mentors, however, complete the online information form to share details about their interactions with their mentees. This information helps Academic Success & Achievement staff members understand recurring questions, students' needs, and what mentees and mentors may be experiencing. In the event that a student brings a mentor the Mentor Meeting Form, completing the online form is not necessary.
Suggestions for Mentees
How do I prepare to meet my mentor?
- Introduce yourself to your mentor as soon as possible via email.
- Set the date for the first meeting. It may be helpful to propose a few times and days in your first or second e-mail.
- Discuss the best place and time to meet.
- Consider how having a mentor may help you reach your goals and be successful.
What do we talk about?
Your relationship with your mentor is what you make of it. Your mentor has been a student before, and they have life and work experience that may be helpful for you to think about. Try talking about the following:
- Where your mentor is from, how they came to the University of Arizona
- Where you are from and what you would like to accomplish as a student
- Hobbies, favorite movies, books, music
- Your mentor’s family, academic and career goals, etc.
- Your family, academic and career goals, etc.
- What your mentor would do differently if they could be a student again
- What decisions they made that helped them accomplish what they have in their lives
- What resources exist on campus that they would suggest you check out
What do I do if my mentor gives me their telephone number?
- Please be respectful if your mentor give you their telephone number
- Do not text or call them early in the morning or late in the evening. In general, remember that UA offices are open between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday
- Do not text or call during their instruction hours
- If your call is answered, identify yourself: State that your their mentee and your first and last name.
- Speak slow and clearly
- Leave a voicemail that includes your name, the reason you’re calling, and how you can be reached.
How do I communicate with my mentor via e-mail?
- Never send an e-mail with an empty subject line
- Make one point per email
- Specify the response you want in your email (ask for a return phone call, an appointment, etc.)
- Please PROOFREAD your message
- Reply promptly to your mentor’s e-mails
- Be respectful of your mentor’s time – they have meetings, classes, and responsibilities just like you!
What if my mentor does not respond?
Realize that our mentors are faculty and staff members on campus. They have many responsibilities, and they may not be able to respond to your message immediately. Check www.arizona.edu/phonebook to be sure you have the right contact information and search for them on the main UA website. Sometimes, it is helpful to try reaching them through several different modes of communication. If you have tried contacting your mentor several times using multiple means of communicating (ex. phone, e-mail, visiting their office) and more than a week has passed since your first attempt, please contact the Office of Academic Success & Achievement at 520-626-3656 to talk with a staff member.
How do I thank my mentor?
Sending a thank you message shows that you value your mentor’s time, support, and expertise. A thank you note should include:
- A respectful greeting
- Some kind of statement showing appreciation for the favor, advice, meeting, item, etc.
- A quick reference to how it will help you and why it’s valuable
- A polite closing that acknowledges your mentor’s support and that you hope to continue the relationship
What if I am late to a meeting?
If you're running late to a meeting please call your mentor immediately. Please be courteous and do not call people a few minutes before a scheduled meeting if you are running late. If you call ahead of time this will give them the opportunity to adjust their schedule. Make sure you apologize for the inconvenience and make sure to provide them with the option to reschedule or delay the meeting.
What if I have to miss or reschedule a meeting?
If you have to reschedule or miss a meeting, try to send a polite e-mail a few days before the meeting. In the case that you have to miss or reschedule meeting the day of or within the hour make sure to call immediately, apologize and propose a few other days/times to reschedule the meeting.
What if your relationship is not going well with your mentor?
Be sure to discuss your concerns immediately with your mentor to prevent any further misunderstandings. If your relationship is still not going well, please call the Office of Academic Success & Achievement at 520-626-3656 to talk with a staff member. If you no longer wish to meet with this particular person as your mentor, send them a polite, respectful e-mail to explain that you will meet with an ASA staff member to talk about being reassigned with a mentor that might be a better fit for your personal goals. Be sure to let a staff member in ASA know so they can reassign you and answer any questions that you and your mentor have.