Cover Photo Image
Are you interested in making a lasting impact on the lives of middle and high school students in then Shenandoah Valley?
JMU - Valley Scholars Seeking Student Mentors for the Fall Semester of 2017.

Valley Scholars is a university community outreach program working to increase access to higher education for students in the Shenandoah Valley. First generation college students and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds face much greater educational challenges than those coming from families of financial means.  Valley Scholars works to provide students a pathway forward in pursuing higher education despite the financial and other barriers students may face.  To do this, we provide additional academic and emotional support to both students and families as well as financially remove the cost of tuition for the student if accepted to JMU upon completion of the program. It is our goal to see more first generation students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds graduate with a four-year degree.  To create this change for students within the Shenandoah Valley we need the help of a committed group of James Madison University mentors!  

Who are we looking for and how does the program work?

Students who have completed more than 30 hours of coursework may apply to be apart of the class.  The experience is open to all majors.  For fall 2017 Valley Scholars is seeking motivated student mentors to join our mentorship program.           

The mentor experience with Valley Scholars is both a classroom based program and a field experience.  Mentors will meet with their mentee each week, and also attend a bi-weekly class designed to provide support and guidance throughout the experience.  Mentors are matched with mentees in the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, and the counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Shenandoah and Page. The class portion of the experience meets on Tuesdays from 4:00-5:40 in Memorial Hall. Two credit hours per semester are awarded.  A faculty member with the College of Education will be facilitating the course for the Valley Scholars program.  Students must be able to meet at this time in addition to their mentoring hours.      

Why should I sign up? 

As a JMU student you've prepared for, applied to, were admitted and are now attending college.  For many students in the Shenandoah Valley this is a daunting process and one they don't believe is available to them.  Great mentors can change that!  In addition, mentors will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with faculty and staff from across JMU and within local schools.  You will be exposed to leadership and mentoring theory and practice.  Finally, you will have the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with motivated local youth, as well as meet other students from across the JMU community participating in the experience.  Mentors have joined students in working on community service projects and have also accompanied them on a field trip to Washington DC.       

Here are mentor reflections from the spring of 2016:

"I became a mentor for Valley Scholars because I wanted to be a consistent supposrt for students that deserve the same opportunties as every other student. The impact on the scholars and mentors has been much greater than expected"
"I loved the idea of the Valley Scholars program and I wanted to get involved by motivating and encouraging scholars"

To apply visit Applications are being accepted through April 30, 2017.  If you have questions please contact Shaun Mooney, Director Valley Scholars program at

Back to Top