Gurus lead new students through transition to university

Almost 200 advice gurus assisted more than 200 first-year students with their transition to university through the Educational Development Centre’s Connecting4Success mentorship program this year.

The program targets first generation students—the first in their families to attend university—and matches them with upper-year students in the same program or faculty. Throughout their first year, students meet one-on-one with their advice gurus and attend monthly meetings that focus on common first-year academic, social and personal challenges.

Challenges unique to first generation students may include lack of family support, low expectations when entering university, low confidence and limited financial resources, says the program’s coordinator, Danielle Handsor.

The program celebrated its success at a reception on campus Saturday, which included an address by Daryl Townsend, a player with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, and a first generation university student himself.

At the event, business major Jennifer Seedu received the “Making a Difference” Award, nominated by her protégés in recognition of her demonstrated loyalty, dedication and commitment.

For more information on Connecting4Success, visit the program website or e-mail Handsor at Recruitment of incoming students for the 2013/14 year will begin in May and advice guru recruitment will follow in June.