ASUU mentors cost $15K

By By Chris Mumford

By Chris Mumford

The student government plans to spend $15,000 per year on a mentoring program that aims to give high school students a head start on filling out college applications.

The Peer Advocacy Program, offered in partnership with the College of Education’s Institute for Urban Teacher Education, will use student fees to pay 14 U graduate students $1,000 per year to meet with students from several Granite School District high schools for two to three hours a week. Mentors will offer students advice on filling out applications for the U, though the students will be free to apply to any school they choose, said Associated Students of the University of Utah President Tayler Clough.

“This isn’t a recruitment tool,” he said. “This is a specific one-on-one mentoring program so students focus on the application process.”

According to the draft of the program’s proposal, the peer advocates will be expected to “assist University of Utah recruiting efforts and new students in their adjustment to the new college-culture.”

It isn’t clear how the last $1,000 would be spent if 14 U graduate students are paid an even sum.

Funds for the program will come from ASUU’s general reserve for the first year and from the executive budget in subsequent years.

Clough compared the program to the ASUU tutoring and child care programs, saying that the mentoring

program costs considerably less and will create jobs for graduate students and benefit the community.

Although the U already sends representatives to high schools throughout the state for recruitment, Clough said the new program will be more comprehensive because high school students will be encouraged to participate from ninth grade through graduation.

Candidates for the Peer Advocacy Program positions will also be charged with ensuring that high school students understand the U’s admission process; acquainting students with campus resources, facilities and programs; and to provide scholarship and financial aid information.

The proposal, which will initially be voluntary for high school students, is slated for an ASUU Assembly vote Oct. 27 and will then head to the Senate on Oct. 29.

Clough said he hopes participation will become mandatory if the program proves successful in its pilot year.

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