About the Program

History and Services

A state Education Department report on graduation rates found that of the Oswego City School District students who began high school in 2006, 11 percent had dropped out by 2010 while 73 percent of their peers graduated with Regents or local diplomas. The remainder were still trying or had converted to other diploma programs, such as the GED. This inspired a partnership between SUNY Oswego and the Oswego City School District to develop the Mentor-Scholar program. In Fall 2011, thirty-five undergraduate mentors were placed at Oswego Middle School.  Today, we have over 140 mentors serving in four school districts.


The purpose of the Mentor-Scholar program is to provide middle school students in the Oswego City School District identified as at-risk with trained and supported volunteer mentors who will provide academic and emotional support. The Mentor-Scholar program strives to build students' self-confidence and self-efficacy, and to give them the tools to be effective students. Another purpose is to provide an opportunity for SUNY Oswego undergraduates to help improve their community as well as gain knowledge useful in their future careers and lives.

Mentor Commitment and Responsibilities

Via one-on-one relationships, mentors will provide both academic tutoring as well as the motivation necessary for each mentee to achieve their personal potential. While working on academic assignments, mentors will help mentees develop study skills and interpersonal skills necessary for later school success. Mentors will assist mentees in creating academic goals, and provide the necessary social support to see that they achieve them. In addition to bi-weekly one-hour sessions, mentors and mentees will participate in social activities to help mentees connect with and aspire to higher education.

Mentor Training

Mentors must complete an application and interview in order to participate in the program. Mentors must also enroll in GST 311. Prior to meeting their mentee, mentors will attend an on-site training to orient them with the building as well as to understand the cultural and demographic uniqueness of the population with which they are working. Mentors will also read and reflect upon articles introducing them to mentoring. Mentors will attend three small-group discussion classes during each semester and one on-site orientation. In preparation for each class, mentors will read scholarly articles on topics related to mentoring. The classes will also be an opportunity for mentors to discuss what is going well and what challenges they face, and to receive support from peers and well as the Project Coordinator.

Mentor-Scholar Program
145 Campus Center
SUNY Oswego
Oswego, NY 13126
Phone: 315-312-3812
Email the Project Coordinator - Scott Ball - scott.ball@oswego.edu.