This new program pairs you and other incoming freshman or transfer students with a peer mentor for your first year at EIU. You'll meet once a week over a free meal in any dining hall, along with approximately 5 other new students. During this time, you'll receive support from your mentors about the academic, social, and financial aspects of life on a college campus. You'll have a strong foundation for your college career, and the supportive curriculum and peer-to-peer mentorship ensures that you'll be set up for future success as EIU students.
During the fall semester, freshmen will take the EIU Foundations course (2 credit hours). You'll be required to live in Lawson Hall, Taylor Hall, or Andrews Hall. (If you plan to live at home with your parents and commute to campus, the Lawson/Taylor Hall requirement will be waived.) Honors students choosing to live in Thomas on the Honors floor may also participate.
As part of the program, you'll be assigned to a mentoring group based on the preferences you filled out in your application, and you'll meet weekly with your group to discuss aspects of the Foundations Course. The Foundations Course only takes place during the fall, but the weekly meetings will continue during spring semesters, providing you with a supportive resource during their entire first year of college. The sooner an applicant applies and completes their enrollment steps, the more likely they are to be selected to participate in the program.
Transfer students are not required to live on campus or take EIU Foundations.
As part of the program, you'll be assigned to a mentoring group based on the preferences you filled out in your application, and you'll meet weekly with your group to discuss your freshman experience and provide supportive resources for your first year of college. The sooner an applicant applies and completes their enrollment steps, the more likely they are to be selected to participate in the program.
As a peer mentor, you'll meet with a group of approximately 5 students once a week at a designated time. You'll be given a meal swipe to cover the meal costs for you and your group members. You may be required to hold virtual meetings. Your role will be critical in helping the students in your group develop the necessary skills to be successful in college. The program will also develop your own leadership skills, personal growth and campus involvement.
You'll learn to take initiative, communicate effectively, and relate to their fellow students. Workshops during mentor training will help these student leaders learn the basic skills necessary to become effective and charismatic leaders.
You must be at least a sophomore at EIU to qualify. You'll receive support from graduate assistants, who will hold monthly meetings for you and other group leaders to track progress of the mentorship groups, review upcoming curriculum, and provide additional leadership education. You will be notified before the semester begins if you have been selected as a mentor for the Freshman Connection program.