Mentor Collective – the leading ed-tech provider committed to driving student belonging and retention through scalable peer mentorship – is excited to announce a strategic partnership with the City University of New York’s Black Male Initiative (CUNY BMI). The collaboration aims to foster a culture of mentorship across the CUNY system and provide actionable insights into the experiences of African, African American/Black, Caribbean, and Latino/Hispanic male students.
Dr. Susan M. Poglinco of Mentor Collective collaborated with CUNY BMI to design this innovative student success initiative to complement CUNY BMI’s inclusive agenda. This trail-blazing partnership will serve students from ten senior colleges within the CUNY system. Encompassing project directors from each participating campus, 400 first-year students will be connected with upper-division students serving as peer mentors. CUNY BMI anticipates institutionalizing programs – like Mentor Collective – into academic departments and student affairs offices throughout the University for the benefit of students from underrepresented populations including African, African American/Black, Caribbean, and Latino/Hispanic males; and, ultimately, all CUNY students.
“We are thrilled to join forces with CUNY BMI,” said Mentor Collective Founder and CEO Jackson Boyar. “Our mutual dedication to bridging the equity divide through fostering a deep sense of belonging and driving student success is paramount. This is more than a partnership; it is a cooperative effort to enhance the college experience for a group of students often underserved in higher education today. We look forward to harnessing our shared visions and creating a positive and lasting impact on the lives of these men.”
Leveraging an asset-based approach to mentorship, the collaboration between Mentor Collective and CUNY BMI aims to cultivate a sense of belonging among incoming students and provide leadership development opportunities for upper-division students serving as mentors. Peer mentors are trained to act as guides for new students, connecting them to student services on campus to aid their success and demystify the hidden curriculum of higher education. New research has exposed the awareness gap around students’ knowledge of university resources; peer mentors can play a vital role in making students aware of support services and breaking down potential stigmas around seeking help. Furthermore, Mentor Collective’s dashboard allows institutions to monitor trends around specific challenges students face on their path to graduation to improve future programming. This partnership is a key part of CUNY BMI’s strategy to increase retention and graduation rates for underrepresented students; particularly African, African American/Black, Caribbean and Latino/Hispanic males.
“Our partnership with Mentor Collective underlines our commitment to fostering a nurturing and supportive academic community,” said CUNY BMI University Executive Director Dr. Jonathan Quash. “Their successful mentorship model and data-driven approach will enhance our efforts to break down barriers and bridge the equity gap, particularly for Black men and men of color studying at CUNY. This initiative symbolizes a shared vision of expanding opportunities, fostering belonging and increasing retention and success rates for populations that are severely underrepresented in higher education today. Optimistic about the potential impact of its partnership with CUNY BMI, Mentor Collective expects to foster a significant, positive change in the student journey for Black men and men of color at CUNY. To learn more about the Mentor Collective CUNY BMI Partnership visit mentorcollective.org.
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About Mentor Collective
Mentor Collective is an education technology provider that drives student belonging and retention through student voice analysis, research-backed assessment, and scalable peer mentorship solutions. Supported by Lumina Foundation, Mentor Collective's proprietary approach to student success brings student insights to the forefront of strategic planning. The company partners with 180+ institutions to monitor sense of belonging, refer students to campus resources, and transform student success practices with actionable insights.