Students of the California community college system find themselves in an overcrowded and underfunded system, struggling both to find out what classes they need to take and then to get into those classes. Changing the system is going to take time, but we can do some small things that will have a big impact right now.
I am working to create a network of mentors across all 112 California community colleges. The goal is to connect successful community college graduates who have gone on to four-year institutions to current community college students, because the easiest way to climb a mountain is to get a hand up from someone at the top!
This fall I've gathered a team of community college graduates, and together we are creating a pilot program that will be launching January of 2014. For the pilot, our goal is to have 20 mentors working with students in ten of the 112 California community colleges. We plan on expanding until our network is helping students in every single community college in California.
Our mentors and mentees will meet weekly for the duration of the spring semester (January through May). Mentors will help mentees to be successful students both inside and outside the classroom, giving first-hand advice on everything from what classes to take and how to get them, to effective time management.
Our mentors will simultaneously write short articles based on the questions their mentees have, creating a database of knowledge for students, by students, to be available online to everyone for free.