- Mentoring can have a great impact on students during their higher education career.
This influential role of mentors can be found valuable for a wide variety of populations, and
has specifically monumental influences for underrepresented students. The NASPA
Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP) aims to facilitate the mentor-mentee relationship
for historically disenfranchised and underrepresented students who are interested in exploring
a career in higher education and student affairs.
In this study, returning participants of the NUFP program were interviewed and the
positive effects of their mentorship experience were identified. Research in this study focused
on the question; what are the positive effects for historically disenfranchised and
underrepresented undergraduate students who are interested in pursing a career in higher
education and student affairs by working with a professional mentor? Additionally, the
epistemological approach of testimonios situated the researcher as part of the NUFP
community. This approach elicited personal knowledge and emotions that a typical
evaluation cannot reach.
This study found that having a professional mentor as a historically underrepresented
and disenfranchised student improves experiences during one’s undergraduate education
journey. A clear understanding of the ways in which these students were impacted has been
identified. The current research on mentor relationships can be transcribed across many
disciplines and levels of university studies. The significance of these findings is that in the
future, academic programs may be confident when encouraging their diverse student
populations to seek out a professional mentor, with whom they can form a working
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