West Texas A&M University

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College of Education and Social Sciences International Student Mentor Program

International Student Mentor Program

Sponsored by the WTAMU Social Work Program and
The College of Education and Social Sciences

The goal of the WTAMU International Student Mentoring Program (“ISMP”) is to promote an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, backgrounds, religions and viewpoints. The program is designed to help ease the adjustment and transition of incoming WTAMU international students while providing volunteer student mentors opportunities to develop cross-cultural understanding and develop mentoring skills. At the beginning of each semester, the program pairs an incoming international student with one or two student mentors who are responsible for providing the incoming student  information, support and guidance to help the mentee succeed academically and socially. The program provides immediate support and assistance to WTAMU’s newest international students through correspondence that begins before new students arrive on campus. The program of support and friendship continues formally throughout the first two semesters of an international student’s life at WTAMU. The program provides an opportunity for new and returning international students to connect with student mentors through various social activities and events, creating a strong and supportive community while increasing the cultural competence of the social work students associated with the program.

Who is Eligible to Serve as a Student Mentor? 

Current full or part-time WTAMU undergraduate and graduate students with a GPA of 2.0 or better are eligible to volunteer as International Student Mentors (“ISM”) and are selected through a competitive selection process. Students become involved by completing an online application and returning it to the International Student Mentor Program Coordinator in the College of Education and Social Sciences. Successful applicants should demonstrate:

  • An appreciation for and sensitivity to cultural differences
  • Good interpersonal communication skills
  • Leadership skills demonstrated by interacting positively and eliciting the interaction and participation of international students
  • The ability to work effectively as a team member with other ISMs and international students
  • The ability to make sound, independent judgments and decisions, solve problems, and improvise
  • The ability to serve as an advocate for the International students when appropriate
  • Commitment to attend all training sessions and orientation events
  • Willingness to be a role model and uphold university policies and expectations

What are the Responsibilities of an ISM?

Prior to assuming the role of an ISM, each ISM is required to successfully complete an orientation/training program and complete a personal profile that will be used to match the interests and experiences of the ISM with those of incoming international students. Likewise, International Students request an ISM by completing a request form and personal profile. Prior to the beginning of each semester, one or two ISMs are paired with one new international student.  International Students request an ISM by completing a request form

ISMs assist and support WTAMU’s newest international students though the following activities:

  • Pre-arrival correspondence via email

  • Providing a walking tour of the WTAMU Canyon Campus

  • Assisting the new student get settled when he or she first arrives on campus 

  • Attend and participate fully in all orientation activities at the beginning of each semester

  • Maintain regular contact with assigned mentee

  • Be available as an active resource and/or advocate

What is the Cost of Serving as an ISM?

ISMs are student volunteers, and no compensation is paid for serving as an ISM. There is no cost associated with serving as an ISM. WTAMU will not be responsible for reimbursing ISMs for any costs associated with the ISMP.

 What Orientation Activities are Provided?

The ISMP together with students enrolled in Social Work courses identified by the faculty will design and implement orientation activities during the first three weeks of each semester and once each month thereafter. The activities will include social and recreational activities designed to enhance the transition of international students into the WTAMU community and facilitate their academic and social success

Who are the ISMP Coordinators?

Dr. Mo Cuevas - Old Main 431 - mcuevas@wtamu.edu

Dr. Melody Loya – Old Main 427 – mloya@wtamu.edu

Dr. Darla Beaty – Old Main 424B – dbeaty@wtamu.edu

Dean Eddie Henderson – OM 410 – ehenderson@wtamu.edu

 

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