Despite the limitations on time for career preparedness and shrinking professional development budgets, mentoring remains as important as ever due to the interconnectedness in a global society and the changing demographics of postsecondary education students. The traditional-age population in college that lives on campus and does not work has been declining for over three decades. The majorities of current students that are now non-traditional, and work at least part-time are first-generation, and are pursuing degrees via distance or online learning. The importance of providing a diverse mentoring strategy for this new population is borne out in research in order to improve retention, persistence, and completion rates, as well as future professional success. As such, this study sheds light on the need to develop a multi-modal mentoring program to support different student populations through a flexible combination of faculty-student, student-student, alumni-student, and supervisor-student mentoring programs applied in different contexts and modalities. While results indicate that overall faculty-initiated mentoring is preferred by both populations and the most impactful method for mentoring is face-to-face with a faculty member with non-academic experience in the field of their discipline, other approaches are more effective for populations, such as first-generation, minority, and online and graduate students.
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Hutson, James; Nasser, Roger; Marzano, Michael; Curtis, Ryan; MacDonald, Elizabeth; Edele, Sue; and Hosti-Marti, Barbara, "Bridge Building in Higher Education: Multi-Modal Mentoring Programs to Support Retention & Career Preparedness" (2022). Faculty Scholarship. 434.