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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a mentor?
A mentor serves as a role model to the protégé. A mentor will provide advice and guidance to the protégé, and work together to maintain a meaningful relationship throughout the academic year.

Who are the mentors?
Smeal alumni and friends of the college serve as mentors in the Mentoring Program. The mentors range from recent graduates to those with many years of work experience, and come from various academic majors with expertise and careers in a wide range of industries.

Do I need to return to campus to participate in the Mentoring Program?
No, you are not required to return to campus to participate in the program. We do highly recommend and encourage you to make every effort to connect in person at least once during the academic year.

What is the time commitment?
You and your protégé determine the time commitment based on your goals for the year, starting in the fall and ending in the spring. It is important, though, that you engage in consistent communication. Interaction at least once a month is recommended.

How will I benefit from the Mentoring Program?
The Mentoring Program provides our students with an invaluable compliment to their academic coursework and extra-curricular activities. As a mentor, you also benefit by experiencing the personal fulfillment that comes from helping your protégé achieve his/her goals; contributing to a richer, more interactive experience for our students; and networking with other mentors.

How many students and alumni typically participate in the Mentoring Program?
We typically have about 130 alumni mentors and 150 student protégés participating in the Mentoring Program. Some mentors are willing to mentor more than one student. We anticipate that the program will continue to involve more alumni over time and serve additional students.

How do I get involved?
To get involved, complete the online form, or you can apply directly for the program by filling out the online application by May 23.

Each spring the “Call for Mentors” will come in the form of an e-mail. Once you receive that e-mail, there will be directions to complete a brief online application. The mentoring matches will be made during the late summer and early fall by the Smeal Alumni Relations Office.

I still have some questions, who should I contact?
To learn more about the Mentoring Program, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 814-865-7831 or via e-mail at