Our Learning Community
Campus Connections offers many unique opportunities for students to get involved with the program throughout their CSU career. Students interested in Campus Connections must sign up for 1-8 credits in areas related to the program.
Mentor - HDFS470A for 3 credits
Campus Connections mentors serve as positive role models to their mentees and many develop strong bonds throughout the program. Student mentors are part of a dynamic team designed to provide academic, social, and wellness support to youth mentees. You will be given preference over new students coming into the course if the course is full. Many students take this course more than one time in order to have the full Campus Connections course experience and to earn the full 3 credits for doing it. Mentors must complete all assignments associated with the course.
Mentor Coach - HDFS470B for 3 credits
Mentor Coaches provide leadership for the Campus Connections lab. They are required to attend scheduled weekly lab session and may be assigned a mentee if additional youth need a mentor. Mentor Coaches assist with training, are responsible for completing all assigned readings for the course, and facilitating small group discussions about the readings. They provide mentoring supervision to one or two mentor families, review student mentors’ weekly journal entries, and may facilitate pro-social activities during weeks 4 & 5. Mentor Coaches also advise mentors on planning and implementing their required three-week activity with youth.
*** Students interested in becoming Mentor Coaches need to Mentor first.
Lead Mentor Coach - HDFS470B 3 credits
Lead Mentor Coaches attend the weekly Campus Connections Instruction team meeting, all weekly lab sessions, all training sessions, and serve as the logistics coordinator during lab each week. Lead Mentor Coaches ensure set up and evening transitions. They also help to manage which youth need to meet with family therapist/instructor. Lead Mentor Coaches play a critical role in training, supervising mentors and Mentor Coaches, preparing for weekly labs, and ensuring that all aspects of the weekly lab run smoothly. This is a selective leadership position and only 4 are available each semester.
*** Students interested in becoming Mentor Coaches need to Mentor first.
Special Project Assistants - HDFS470C for 3 credits
Special projects vary depending on the interests of the student and needs of the program. Projects may be in Campus Connections lab sessions or assisting faculty with program development or research projects.
Research Assistant - HDFS498 for 1-6 credits
Assist faculty and graduate assistants with all facets of Campus Connections research efforts. Research Assistants may assist mentor and mentee survey administration, interview transcription, data entry and management, publications, and general program support including administrative tasks. Research experience is essential for admission to many graduate programs.
If you are interested in participating in Campus Connections as a research assistant, contact Toni Zimmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HDFS Internship - HDFS 477/488 for 6-8 credits
Human Development and Family Studies students who are Campus Connection Interns serve as a mentor coach two evenings per week during a Campus Connections lab and provide additional program support in the office. Interns coordinate the Foodbank program, recruitment efforts, assist the case manager, coordinate learning community, and a multitude of other responsibilities.
*Please note: All students interested in serving as an HDFS Intern must (1) be an HDFS major; and (2) must successfully complete the HDFS internship placement process and be offered an internship with Campus Connections.
The Mentorship Experience
Campus Connections mentors serve as positive role models to their mentees and many develop strong bonds throughout the program. Student mentors are part of a dynamic team designed to provide academic, social, and wellness support to youth mentees. Students attend a weekly lab session from 3:00pm-9:00pm. Youth mentees participate from 4:00pm-8:00pm, arriving an hour after and leaving an hour before mentors, mentor coaches, and instructors, which allows time to prepare for and wrap up the evening. Each week mentors spend an hour assisting their mentee with homework and studying.
Mentors also offer their mentee practical information about higher education opportunities and discuss future goals. Mentor-mentee pairs have fun and explore campus together (in small groups, not individually) with half-hour walks designed to get to know CSU as well as to help youth become excited about college. Mentors and mentees spend time together participating in a variety of pro-social activities that challenge both the youth and the mentors to try new things. Mentors also have the opportunity to lead:
- cooking classes to teach mentees about healthy meals and snacks,
- sports activities (soccer, kickball, basketball, etc.),
- arts and craft activities, and much more.
Youth mentees also have the option to participate in a community service activity where the youth identify a community issue they want to work on and implement that plan through the Public Achievement model. In addition to activities, everyone shares family-style dinners together during Campus Connections that are delivered by the Food Bank of Larimer County.
Campus Connections Schedule
Pre-Lab 3-4 p.m.
Pre-lab is a time for our mentors to have the opportunity to meet with their lab instructor, mentor coaches, as well as fellow mentors and discuss the upcoming evening. During this time weekly readings are integrated into preparation for the night to come. In addition, mentor families take turns supervising the Early Arrival Room for youth who arrive at Campus Connections prior to 3:45.
Walk and Talk 4-4:30 p.m.
Walk and Talk is a half hour walk that takes place immediately after youth arrive. Mentor families “tour the campus” on walks to different buildings on campus. This is a time for our mentors to build strong relationships with their mentees as well as for mentees to get outside and explore everything that a college campus has to offer.
Supporting School Success 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Supporting School Success is an important part of Campus Connections because it is one-on-one time that the youth get with their mentor to focus on school. During this time mentees can work on anything from homework and time management skills to building a resume or filling out college applications. In the past we have visited fire stations, brought in military recruiters, visited different departments on campus, as well as other career building activities. During this hour, mentees may also participate in Job Readiness Workshops. A representative from the Workforce of Larimer County comes during this hour to teach youth how to fill out job applications, write a resume, search for jobs, and talk to potential employers. Other specialized academic and professional skill building activities are sometimes offered during this time as well.
Dinner 5:30-6 p.m.
Dinner is provided by the Larimer County Food Bank every week free-of-charge for the youth and for a nominal fee to mentors. Mentor families eat as a “family” and create a healthy dinner atmosphere for the youth.
Pro-Social Activities 6-8 p.m.
Each week our mentors lead and participate in a different activity for the youth. These activities are meant to be pro-social and encourage positive recreation and interactions between everyone involved. Activities change week to week because the mentors take turns facilitating activities for the youth, in the past activities have included a variety of sports, cooking, arts and crafts, music, and dancing.
Post-Lab 8-9 p.m.
Post-Lab is time for our mentors to meet with their lab instructor, mentor coaches, and fellow mentors and debrief about the night. This is an open forum to discuss success stories as well as possible problems from the evening. Mentors are also allotted time to complete their weekly journals.
Mentors are CSU undergraduates a 3.0 GPA or higher. After their application has been accepted to be a part of the program, which includes having a minimum GPA of 2.5, prospective mentors must submit a full background check and attend three weeks of training to learn the best practices of mentoring prior to the arrival of the youth.
Becoming a Mentor
In order to become a mentor with Campus Connections students must:
- Attend a mandatory informational meeting with a Campus Connections Recruitment Coordinator. Please email email@example.com to schedule your meeting.
- Download, print, and complete the Mentor Application Packet*.
- Submit application packet to the Campus Connections Main Office in the Gifford Building, Room 142.
Mentor applications must include:
- A list of 3 professional references
- A resume with relevant coursework and work experience
- An unofficial transcript (1st year CSU students should submit their unofficial high school transcript only when CSU transcript is unavailable)
- Your GPA (1st year students with no grade on file should list their high school GPA)
Students will be notified within 1-2 weeks of the application due date regarding their acceptance status. Once accepted students will:
- Be required to submit background checks
- Register for course HDFS 470A in RamWeb
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