SUCCESS STORIES

Ed Walter

Traverse City

When Ed Walter lost his tool & die job he decided to go to college to get training for a new career. But before he could do that he knew he needed to improve his academic skills. Walter did that at the Traverse City Adult Education Learning Lab. "I've learned how to learn and work hard at it," said Walter. He plans to pursue the training he needs to move in to an HVAC career.

Mentoring/Networking

 

In this difficult economy, many adults are realizing the need to go to college and learn new skills. With grants, scholarships, and other funding sources available, many people are able to attend college — even people who never thought they could.

The college experience can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially for someone who isn’t familiar with the academic world. For these adults, first semester dropout rates are high.

Studies show that one major reason adults drop out of college is the lack of a peer support system. The Peer Mentor/Networking Program is designed to provide that support. In the Mentor program, experienced college students are matched with first semester adult college students. The peer mentor helps guide, support, and advise the mentee.

Mentoring Objectives:

  • Provide support at key stages of the student’s first semester/quarter to help them to settle in, make progress, and to achieve success in their program of study
  • Mentors are carefully selected and trained to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to assist adult students who might be overwhelmed by some of the obstacles they face at the beginning of their college experience
  • The Mentor’s role will complement other college wide support structures 
  • Each Mentor will work in partnership with the Peer Mentoring Coordinator and the College Liaison

Networking events occur two times, early in each semester, at each partner college.  Events are facilitated by an adult educator who provides support and opportunities to network among fellow adult students attending the same college.   During these events, students have the opportunity to developing a connectedness among each other and are able to share issues and resolutions.  If students are having issues, teachers can act as facilitators to encourage them to seek intervention and resources at their postsecondary institution.