Career and Community Studies (CCS) at The College of New Jersey provides a small cohort of students with intellectual disabilities, ages (18-25) with a course of study which utilizes a system of peer mentors. Peer mentors are central to the program and reflect the primary mode for inclusion within the TCNJ college community. A peer mentor is a similar-age companion that assists and guides a CCS Student for the purposes of unlocking and achieving his or her potential. Mentors will also provide support for the successful inclusion in traditional college classes and activities. The “More than Mentor” relationship is beyond assistance and should reflect shared experiences that results in mutual benefit. In other words, “More than Mentors” is intended to expand the typical role of mentor and will create the opportunities to develop respectful, meaningful and reciprocal relationships.
Why should you become a mentor?
College is as much a preparation for adulthood as it is academic preparation for a career. Students with disabilities should be given the same opportunities to grow in the college environment.
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Mentor Responsibilities: To arrive on time and to be prepared to engage with the CCS student in either an academic or social activity that has been agreed upon.
SOCIAL: For a social activity mentors may want to plan ahead. There may be campus events occurring, a club or organization meeting or something that would be meaningful to the CCS student. The objective is to help facilitate the CCS students understanding and participation in campus activities that all college students are engaged in. You may want to ask the students their particular interest and plan from that. If students don’t seem to have a preference, or seem unsure, mentors can become valuable role models of how to explore options and discover activities that interest students and keep them engaged.
ACADEMIC: Academic activities will include helping students with their course assignments, and may include assignment organization and computer lab time to access the internet for information specific to a course project.
LUNCH: Just hanging out and sharing some lunch time is always a welcomed activity and prompts acquaintances and friendships to occur spontaneously.
GYM: Always a fun option to have a partner. CCS students play tennis, swim and would like to work out.
CLUB & ORGANIZATIONS: A great way to have CCS students be involved with campus life, student government, and community projects that your clubs may be involved in. Again, a great opportunity for relationships to begin, and for social skills to be modeled and learned
To give CCS students an orientation to college life and the TCNJ campus