Illinois State University Women's Mentoring Network

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Type: Program

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


To provide support and information to women students beginning (or returning to) college after an interruption in their formal education. Mentors are female professionals on campus who wish to create a welcoming environment for these students in an effort to ease the transition into higher education.

In Fall 2003, a group of university employees placed an ad in a campus publication to gauge interest in forming a mentoring network for female nontraditional students. As a result 27 university women mentored 41 nontraditional students. Many mentors in the group were once nontraditional students themselves and they understand the interests of nontraditional students.

Teri Farr Assistant to Department Chair, Sociology & Anthropology: "Back when we created the WMN, we knew there was a need for nontraditional women students to feel a part of ISU and be comfortable on campus. Little did we know how great the need was! I love connecting with our students and other mentors...learning from each other, and encouraging students to continue their studies and graduate from ISU. As an alumnus, I feel a strong bond and connection to our campus and community. I just wanted our students to be offered and afforded the same opportunities that I had...a chance to connect with faculty, staff and other students and to be given out of classroom learning opportunities that enrich their college experience.

As a mentor, I hope I've given support and advice to my mentees that they will remember and learn from. My mentees have given me a chance to "pay it forward" the way my mentors did in the past for me. Returning to college as an older person can sometimes be overwhelming and its a privilege to be able to provide a shoulder and be a cheerleader for students at ISU."