Civic Learning Mentor Experience
JMU Office of Judicial Affairs
The Office of Judicial Affairs at James Madison University is committed to facilitating civic responsibility and student development.
When a student is charged and found responsible for a violation of university policy, Judicial Affairs staff approach the situation as an opportunity to help support the student. One way this is done is through a sanction called the Civic Learning Mentor Experience.
The Civic Learning Mentor Experience is an informal mentoring program that gives students the opportunity to develop a relationship of mutual respect and trust with a JMU faculty member, staff member, or graduate student.
All mentors complete training to prepare them for the role. The training outlines the basic structure of the program and gives new volunteers an opportunity to hear tips from experienced mentors.
Following the training mentors complete profiles that the Civic Learning coordinator can refer to when trying to make a mentor/mentee match.
Prior to being matched with a mentor, students assigned to the Mentor Experience meet with their coordinator for an intake interview.
This meeting allows the coordinator to get to know the student well enough to make an intentional match.
Once a match is made, students meet weekly with their mentor and are free to discuss any number of topics such as common interests, academic and career aspirations, and opportunities for involvement in the JMU and Harrisonburg communities.
Whether it is grabbing a cup of coffee, playing racquetball at UREC, or taking a walk through the Arboretum, mentors facilitate the achievement of the student’s goals by listening, connecting the student with resources, and sharing personal experiences.
In addition, students will work with their mentor to create a personal mission statement, identify short- and long-term goals, and strategies to achieve these goals. Some students will identify an interest in clarifying their major, joining a club, finding a part-time job, improving time management, or just making a new friend.
As the experience comes to a close, students write reflection papers that get shared with their mentors.
This is an opportunity for the student to look back at all they have accomplished as well as the exciting future still ahead of them.
At the conclusion of the program, students meet with their coordinator for an exit interview to process the experience in person and share any feedback they have that may help improve the program for future students.
If you’d like more information about the program, including ideas for things to do and places to go with your mentor, please visit us online at www.jmu.edu/judicial/civiclearning.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact the office at 540-568-6218.