UMS Peer-Mentor

UMS Peer-Mentors are matched with first-term CUNY SPS students to ensure they experience a positive transition back to college in an online program; and to develop a greater sense of integration into the CUNY SPS community. Peer-Mentor and Mentees engage in academic success strategies; participate in campus-wide programming; have access to academic services and resources; and are provided one-on-one guidance and support throughout the semester.

Students who are selected as UMS Peer-Mentors often have differing backgrounds and lifestyles that may include race, ethnicity, age, gender, socioeconomic status, religion, sexual orientation and culture. It is imperative for all UMS Peer-Mentors to be adept at working with cultural differences, therefore, Peer-Mentors engage in educational workshops that enable them to understand their own cultural background and be better prepared to approach the mentoring relationship with an openness to diverse perspectives, values and experiences. These workshops provide the opportunity for participants to explore their own assumptions and stereotypes and have a forum to express their feelings on diversity of values and cultural backgrounds, as well as cross-cultural matching.

When possible, participation in UMS programs and workshops is offered to the entire CUNY SPS community.

Benefits of becoming a UMS Peer-Mentor:

  • Get involved in helping others as a positive role model
  • Understanding the importance of community and respond intentionally, in way that acknowledges and respects the culture of the mentee 
  • Enhancing your self-awareness while recognizing any personal biases against people of different cultures and work to eliminate them
  • Understanding the role of empathic listening skills and acceptance of cultural differences while developing relationships with Mentees
  • Develop problem solving, time management and interpersonal skills through educational workshops hosted by the Office of Student Life  
  • Share the knowledge and enthusiasm about your chosen field of study
  • Gain insight into campus life and student services
  • Develop leadership skills by engaging in small and large groups

UMS Peer-Mentors are expected to:

  • Develop a positive mentoring relationship with Mentees by maintaining regular contact
  • Commit to mentor orientation at the start of each term 
  • Commit to meeting with Mentees which includes related activities, and workshops, 
  • Thoroughly document engagements with Mentees
  • Be responsive to the UMS program coordinator when contacted
  • Submit to the UMS program coordinator weekly updates on your Mentee's academic and social progress
  • Attend regular Zoom check-ins with the UMS program coordinator
  • Participate in monthly social and cultural meet-ups 
  • Attend monthly academic enrichment workshops and trainings
  • Provide feedback and assist in evaluation process

UMS Peer-Mentor Qualifications:

  • Students must have been enrolled at CUNY SPS in one of our undergraduate programs for one or more semesters
  • Exhibit strong interpersonal skills with a willingness to help support first-term students overcome some of the barriers to online education
  • Possess excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively with diverse students
  • Have the ability to maintain high levels of self-motivation, enthusiasm, and maturity

Students who are selected for UMS program will receive leadership development trainings in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility to engage cross cultural mentoring with their cohort of mentees across our undergraduate programs. UMS Peer-Mentors will receive a mentoring and leadership stipend for their commitment to their and their mentees educational enrichment experience.

Students interested in applying to be a UMS Peer-Mentor during the fall 2024 term need to complete this application by Wednesday, June 26, 2024.

Applicants will be notified of their program status shortly thereafter and will be expected to attend mandatory trainings on Monday, August 12 and Tuesday, August 13, from 6:00-8:00 pm via Zoom.

The CUNY SPS Urban Male Scholars program and its activities are open to all academically eligible students, faculty, staff, and alumni without regard to race, gender identity, national origin, or other characteristics.

For information on how to apply to be a Mentee in the fall 2024 semester, complete the application on our UMS Mentee page.

Contact program coordinator Reshma Jaigobin for more information about the CUNY SPS Urban Male Scholars.