SMART Program

Program Overview

The Office of Residence Life SMART (Students of Color Mentoring, Aiding, Retaining, and Teaching) Program is a mentoring program designed to offer social, cultural, leadership, and academic support to first-year students of color living in the residence halls at BGSU. SMART's ultimate goals are to assist first-year students of color with their transition to BGSU, to increase the number of students who return to the University for their second year and to provide a forum for discussion of the residential experience in order to make it as positive and rewarding as possible. 

To achieve these goals, SMART pairs first-year students (Mentees) with upper-class residential students who will provide weekly support and guidance. Additionally, SMART requires Mentees to attend a monthly All-SMART meeting that provide information to assist with their success at BGSU. Also, SMART hosts activities and events for students enrichment from one of these four core components:

  • Social Engagement
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Academic Support and Encouragement
  • Leadership Enhancement

SMART Strategic Goals

The SMART Program strives to be a COMMUNITY of success and inclusion that goes beyond the first year. Our goal is to be a connecting point for residential students of color at BGSU in order to help retain them to the University and ultimately graduate and give back to the SMART community.

The SMART Program strives to be a strong DIVERSITY program by creating an environment of inclusion and safety for all students. Our goal is to be supportive and respectful of the many backgrounds and perspectives that are present among the students at BGSU regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, ability status, or socio-economic status.

The SMART Program strives to be one of the premiere FIRST-YEAR programs at BGSU, standing out among the many award-winning communities at BGSU.

The SMART Program strives to be a strong LEADERSHIP program that works to foster development for all its participants (Mentees, Mentors, and Team Leaders). Our goals is to create outstanding campus leaders for the Office of Residence Life and BGSU community.

Who are the SMART Staff?

The SMART Staff consists of one full-time staff member (Coordinator for Diversity and Retention Initiatives), The Graduate SMART Coordinator, student Team Leaders who assist with administration, program planning, and mentoring, and Student Mentors who provide support, resources, and guidance for SMART Mentees.

Who are SMART Mentees?

A SMART Mentee is a first year student who lives in one of the Residence Halls at BGSU. She/he is responsible for developing a solid academic and social foundation in the first year at BGSU from which his/her college experience will grow. Mentees should be open to learning, reaching out, building relationships, developing skills, change, and success. Mentees should be positive and excited about their new experiences.

General Information

Here are a few things you need to know about the SMART Program:

  • Participation in SMART is free.
  • Students who participate in SMART are retained for their second year at a higher rate that those students who do not participate.
  • Though programs and conversations will always be approached from an underrepresented perspective, all people are welcome to join SMART.
  • Students get from SMART what they put into it.
  • The weekly time commitment varies from about an hour (if only mentor/mentee meetings are attended) to about 2-3 hours (if all events and programs are attended).

Joining SMART

Signing up for SMART is an online process: It takes less than five minutes to complete.