Campus Connections (formerly known as Campus Corps) is a multidisciplinary service learning course at CSU where undergraduate students serve as mentors to youth. Students from over 65 different majors work one on one with youth ranging in age from 11-18 who are referred to Campus Connections from our community partners within the juvenile justice system of Larimer County, local schools, community agencies, and directly from families.
Student mentors spend four hours once a week with their mentee in a group setting to provide academic support and career planning, encourage positive social skill development, assist with goal setting, and implement wellness programming. Strong bonds are developed over the 12 week program between mentors and mentees. Graduate students and experienced mentors serve as mentor coaches to provide support and guidance during Campus Connections.
How is Campus Connections different from other mentoring programs? Campus Connections (formerly known as Campus Corps) was developed in response to an identified community need to better serve youth. Through an ideal university-community partnership between Colorado State University and the Northern Colorado community, Campus Corps provides mentoring to youth, ages 11-18, in a structured, intentional multi-level mentoring community. Youth who are at risk of not reaching their full potential due to individual or environmental risk factors are referred to Campus Corps and matched with an undergraduate college student enrolled in a service-learning course. Doctoral-level licensed MFTs direct and supervise the program along with Masters-level family therapist instructors. Utilizing highly-trained experts in systemic and therapeutic interventions, Campus Corps creates an environment in which each mentor-mentee pair is nested within a small mentoring group, known as a Mentor Family, where the youth are of similar ages. This unique feature of Campus Corps allows youth to positively interact with their peers while benefiting from their primary adult mentor and the community of caring adults within their Mentor Family. Because Campus Corps is located entirely on a college campus, youth experience firsthand the possibilities of education and the importance of learning. Campus Corps is grounded in evidence-based practices for youth mentoring and is conducting rigorous research to maximize the intervention effects. Through this research program, we are developing, testing, and disseminating our unique contributions to youth mentoring nationally.
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