Mentoring Program

Each year since 1993, more than 200 St. Olaf College students have volunteered their time to mentor approximately 400 students in St. Olaf Educational Talent Search target schools. The Mentoring Program is sponsored by St. Olaf ETS and is supported by grants from the Travelers Foundation, The General Mills Foundation and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.

The Mentoring Program pairs St. Olaf students with ETS students. Student/Mentor pairs exchange letters in which mentors provide assistance with English compositions and access to a positive college student role model. Students and mentors meet each other three times during the year: 1) mentors visit their mentees’ school; 2) mentors and mentees meet at a neutral location such as the Science Museum of Minnesota; 3) mentees visit St. Olaf College. During the school and St. Olaf visits mentors and mentees tour each other’s campuses, attend classes together, share lunch, and participate in discussions. This mentoring relationship benefits mentors and mentees in the following ways:


  • Mentors gain a greater understanding of ethnic, cultural and social diversity
  • Mentors learn about current middle school and high school student issues
  • Mentors develop an understanding of the complexity of life for inner-city, low-income youth
  • Mentors improve feedback skills and gain grading expertise

ETS STUDENTS (mentees)

  • Mentees receive personal support and develop self-confidence
  • Mentees gain information about college life and postsecondary opportunities from the St. Olaf College student role model, including college admissions, financial aid, how to select a college, and the value of a college education.
  • Mentees develop their writing skills and effective communication skills
  • Mentees gain a greater understanding of ethnic, cultural and social diversity

    Mentee and Mentor

    Mentee and Mentor