February 15, 2024

New mentorship program for Michigan Reconnect students launches

WeConnect mentorship leaders

The new WeConnect Mentorship Program aims to assist Reconnect students with navigating the college experience.

Homayra Adiba knows the challenges associated with enrolling in college several years after high school.

Adiba wears many hats at Schoolcraft College, including being the president of the Omicron Iota Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and a staff writer for The Schoolcraft Connection student newspaper. But now, she has a new role: a mentor in the brand-new WeConnect Mentorship Program, a unique program aimed at assisting Michigan Reconnect students connect better with campus.

The program, launching this month, hopes to connect those attending college on a Michigan Reconnect scholarship – which currently includes students 21 and older without a college degree – with more resources to better help them get the full experience at Schoolcraft College and foster a sense of belonging.

“I am excited about this program,” said Adiba, a Michigan Reconnect student herself. “We want to foster a sense of belonging.”

The program came into existence after a survey was done among Reconnect students asking a variety of questions. Having a mentorship program emerged as a top priority, so Adiba began working with Sharon Christian, Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention and Todd Stowell, Director of Student Activities in crafting the new program.

Along with Learning Support Services’ Academic Success Coach for Reading, Dr. Carmen Wilson, the College has also brought on a pair of Michigan College Access Network College Completion Corps members to assist the program as well: Eva Potka, a Schoolcraft alumna, and Joel Daniels, a former instructor at the College, will work with Adiba to provide personalized support to students. They hope their skills can assist students looking for success when they’ve been out of school for years and, for some, decades. Together with the WeConnect Mentor, the program aims to provide a network of support for Michigan Reconnect Students at the College.

Michigan Reconnect is a state program that provides free in-district tuition to students looking to earn a degree or skills certificate who do not currently have one. The program is typically for students 25 and older, though a change in state law has temporarily dropped the eligibility age to 21 for those to apply through Nov. 15.

“Michigan Reconnect students often have full-time jobs, childcare, or other personal obligations in addition to pursuing their degree. This mentorship program creates a community of support for Michigan Reconnect students. The program strives to foster a welcoming college environment, provide peer mentorship, and to align students with resources for long-term academic success,” Christian said. “We’re so excited to introduce this one-of-a-kind program to Schoolcraft College.”

To help launch the program, two events are planned in the Winter semester. Both will take place in the Lower Waterman wing of the Vistatech Center:

  • WeConnect: Mix and Mingle, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 13
  • WeConnect: Relax and Recharge, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 17

WeConnect Mentorship is a collaboration between Learning Support Services, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Student Activities Office. For more information on the WeConnect Mentorship program, contact Learning Support Services at [email protected].

Caption: Several people involved in the new WeConnect Mentorship Program. From left to right: Eva Potka, Homayra Adiba, Dr. Carmen Wilson and Joel Daniels. Potka and Daniels are Michigan College Access Network College Completion Corps members, Wilson is an academic success coach and Adiba is a student who also serves as a mentor in the program.

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