The CECI Fellowship

student at table at move in day

Join our peer mentor program!

Our peer mentor program is designed to provide leadership for participants in the College of Education and Community Innovation with the following programs: Hospitality and Tourism Management, Social Work, Legal Studies, Public, Non-profit, and Health Administration, and Criminal Justice. CECI Fellows Mentors assist in supporting new GVSU students (First-Year and Transfer Students) as they navigate Grand Valley and learn about their major. 

What is it?

Our Vision

The CECI Fellowship is a peer mentor initiative, designed to create and maintain a community for participating CECI students. The primary goal is to provide empathetic and empowering support through relationships among experienced and novice college students, while also supporting a sense of community, opportunities for professional development, and ways to prepare for post-graduation.

Our Learning Objectives

Students participating in our CECI Fellowship will experience an increase in self-efficacy (“I believe I can reach my goals”), self-motivation/determination (“I want to achieve my goals for myself”), self-awareness (“I know what I want to achieve and why”), and sense of belonging (“I feel included, accepted, and valuable to my community”). 

How does it work?

students studying together at a table using a laptop

Prepared and Paired

All Mentees are paired with a CECI Fellows Mentor through a sensitive match-making process. When matching you with a peer mentor, we consider things like academic program, hometown/home region, and areas of interest/future career goals. Mentors and mentees are supported by a team of professionals in the CECI Office of Undergraduate Advising to ensure the most positive and productive relationships. 

The CECI Fellows Mentors aim to be --


Experienced Advocates

Mentors are excited to share their experiences and wisdom with you as you move through your first year in one of our CECI programs. Your peer mentor has done it before and wants to pay it forward to you: this includes connecting you to academic and personal support services, helping you with study habits and time management skills, joining you at program or professional events, and supporting you in connecting to faculty in your program.

Empathetic Friends

Mentors are kind and enthusiastic students who want to be a positive relationship for you on campus. Your peer mentor wants you to feel included and valued: this includes listening actively to your hopes, concerns, and questions; centering your needs above their own; treating you with respect and dignity in all characteristics of yourself and identity. 

Passionate Professionals

Mentors are preparing for the future just like you! Your peer mentor will walk alongside you as you navigate your program: this includes picking the right classes for your program and areas of interest, checking out and securing internships or jobs, and strategizing with each other about your futures as post-graduate professionals. 

Become a CECI Fellows Mentor

students lounging in deck chairs outside on campus lawn


 This mentor program aims to highlight the benefits of being a Laker for Life. 

Please fill out this application and submit it to Melanie Rabine-Johnson at [email protected] no later than 5pm on September 1, 2024.


Minimum Requirements

  • Must be a CECI major (CJ, HTM, LS, PNHA, SW, Ed B-K)
  • Must demonstrate academic success or academic improvement
  • Must demonstrate dependability with Retention Specialist through prompt and regular communication

**What is academic success or improvement and why is it a requirement? CECI Fellow Mentors are expected to help other students pursue academic success by finding resources, personal skills, or developing confidence. A Mentor’s experiences in being successful or by achieving improvement academically are highly valuable to share with other students. Academic success and/or improvement also indicates an ability to take on additional responsibilities during the school year, and it is important that our Mentors not be overwhelmed.

** What is dependability through prompt and regular communication? CECI Fellow Mentors are expected to reply to emails directed at them at a reasonable rate (between 1-72 hours depending on the urgency). They are expected to attend all scheduled meetings unless absence is communicated and approved ahead of time. They are expected to demonstrate a care for connection through asynchronous and synchronous communication.

Time Commitment and Expectations

  • Receive on-boarding and training (1 hour)
  • Participate in 2 hours of development training each semester (minimum 4 hours total)
  • Meet monthly for 30 min with the Retention Specialist for unstructured check-ins (2 hours total)
  • Contact/Outreach their mentee once per week
  • Facilitate 2 events/meetings with mentee a semester (minimum 4 hours total)


Mentors in the CECI Fellowship will be asked to wear many hats as they personalize their approach to mentorship. We expect them to act as a guide, ambassador, advocate, friend, and reference as they relate to the individual needs of their mentee. When selecting mentors, we look for the following qualities:


Exhibits the ability to or interest in centering the needs and identity of their mentee when developing the mentor-mentee relationship


Respects the experiences and knowledge of their mentee, regarding their own experiences and knowledge as a toolkit in service of the mentee.


Treats others with dignity and honors the unique and valuable qualities of people regardless of commonalities or differences. 


Exudes a high level of enthusiasm as it relates to their own lives, the lives of their mentees, and the ways in which folks navigate college and post-college life.


Demonstrates a high level of curiosity in their approach to facilitating and maintaining relationships with college students. This role requires a lot of learning; therefore, being of curious mind lends itself well to the responsibility to learn. 


Displays a level of assertiveness that supports their role in the mentor-mentee relationship. This role requires a lot of proactive behavior; being assertive lends itself well to the responsibility to guide and support others.

Request a Mentor

The opportunity to request a mentor will open in August 2024. We are currently recruiting Mentors and will open up our applications to future mentees soon!

For more information about CECI Advising, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (616) 331-6890

Page last modified May 30, 2024