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Community Development Mentorship Program

As a student or alum of the CEDEV Graduate Program, you have an opportunity to positively impact a Penn State undergraduate student through mentorship, gaining satisfaction of nurturing a committed, young leader in our society. Mentors serve as guides to students (protégés), answering questions about careers and professional interests, and providing advice through a flexible mentorship program.

 

The Community Development Mentorship Program connects undergraduate students in the Community, Environment, and Development (CED) program with graduate students and alumni of the Community and Economic Development (CEDEV) Graduate Program to advance the CED students' professional development and understanding of application of course concepts. Through one-on-one matches with alumni and graduate students, CED students will gain insight and advice as they consider career options within the field, provide relevance of the course content to practice, and begin establishing a network of professionals that are important as students enter professions post-graduation.  The program is designed to be flexible to encourage involvement of graduate students and alumni and to meet the diverse interests and needs of the undergraduate students. 

 

What should I expect as a participant in the mentoring program?

Mentors and students (protégés) are matched based on a career interests.  The program is structured to ensure opportunity for success, but flexible to meet the needs of the individual pair. Each pair will decide how and when to communicate throughout the school year, determining a method of contact and frequency that is best for both mentor and student schedules.  Mentors/protégés can communicate with one another via e-mail, phone, and visits to the mentor’s workplace, if this is acceptable with the mentor.   The protégé may determine if there are specific goals or benchmarks the protégé would like assistance from the mentor to achieve and a plan can be developed to achieve the set goal or benchmark.  Regular communication will help the mentor and protégé to get the most out of the mentoring program. This is not a job placement program; mentors are not expected to offer employment or internships to the undergraduate students. The student may have questions about areas of study, career options, or of the mentor’s career or area(s) of expertise and interest.

Review the Best Practices for Mentorships for more information. 

What’s the preferred way for mentors and students to contact each other?

Mentors and protégés will decide on a method of communication; many pairs communicate via e-mail and/or telephone. Mentors may decide to meet the student at the workplace during the course of the program. Students and mentors are expected to communicate in order to make substantial progress on the goals they set at the beginning of the program.

How can I enroll in the program?

If you are a current student or alum of the CEDEV Graduate Program, you are eligible to mentor a CED student. Once we receive your completed application, we will match you with a student whose interests closely match your professional experience. Please provide your current resume or CV when submitting the mentor application.  You will be matched with a student with junior or senior standing so that the mentorship can be most beneficial to those students who will soon be entering the workforce or graduate education.

Mentor Application form for CEDEV students and alumni

For more information about the mentorship program, please contact Julie Patosky, CEDEV Administrative Coordinator, at (814) 863-5884 or jeb50@psu.edu