The Mentor Communities program of the Ignatian Residential College is designed to help students reflect on the experiences of this year. The mentor gatherings facilitate a dialogue between the students and mentor using selected readings, journal entries and exercises. This dialogue seeks to unite experiences of academics, community life, and spiritual development.
What is a Mentoring Community? What do we hope you gain from it?
It is a place for students and a faculty, staff or alumnae/us, friend to share some quality time in conversation about things that really matter in all students' lives. The purpose of the mentoring communities is to become companions in this year-long conversation, teaching each other about life, sharing passions, sometimes revealing frustrations, doubts, and confusions. Communities are born out of shared beliefs and experience, and shared experience shapes every member of a group. In our Ignatian College mentoring communities, no one is untouched. The best part about it is that all are supported, encouraged, and befriended. Students will most likely begin close friendships in their special community that will stand the tests of time and change.
How it works
Mentoring communities will be facilitated by the "upperclassman" faculty, staff or alumnae/us mentor, meeting once a month (1.5-2.0 hrs.) for an informal discussion about the implications of the program's three questions (Who am I, Whose am I, Who am I called to be).
Each month has the same format. Monthly reflection questions to get the student's heart and head working to better understand themselves and those in their lives, journal entries to help students remember all that will happen during the year, activities to help the student get to know themselves and their mentoring community better, suggested readings to widen the student's thinking. All Mentoring Communities are encouraged to add their own favorites.
Before the meeting, students are urged to:
- Read the suggested reading, which is typically 2 pages or less
- Think about the monthly reflection questions
- Write their reflections in their journal
- Complete any activity listed
The above will provide a spring board for the mentoring community meeting conversations. The discussions in the meetings are often eye-opening, sometimes very funny, and frequently moving. Mentoring communities almost always become a warm and friendly 'home-room,' and usually create bonds that last well beyond sophomore year. Because it is such a major component of the program, students are expected to attend and fully particpate in all mentoring community meetings.