Building Pathways to Success Through Peer Mentoring

The Pierce County Pathways (PCPW) peer mentoring initiative has officially launched at Tacoma Community College (TCC) with the Titan PULSE Mentors Program. This initiative is designed to support the retention, persistence, and completion of college students, with a specific focus on serving local students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. This is the pilot year for the initiative, and we are excited to continue growing our partnership and collaboration with TCC through this endeavor. 

 The peer mentoring initiative acknowledges the challenges often associated with transitioning to college, particularly for students who experience loneliness, academic struggles, or a lack of financial resources. Gaining access to campus support is a key determinant of student persistence and retention. This initiative addresses these challenges by supporting partner colleges with implementing a peer-to-peer persistence program model to expand advisement for first- and second-year students who experience the greatest risk of departure.

 The Titan PULSE Mentors Program is under the supervision of Timothy Humbert, Success Navigator, and Keith Moore, Director, at the Center for Student Advocacy & Cultural Support. Their passion for the work and the personal stories and experiences they have shared with the mentors are evident and embraced. 

 Asha Richardson, Strategy Manager for the PCPW peer mentoring initiative, kickstarted the mentor training in January. The training covered “Creating a Sense of Belonging” and “Tips for Promoting Academic Success.” This is just a glimpse of the comprehensive training curriculum that the PULSE Mentors will undergo, consisting of up to 70 hours of training, adapted from the College Allies Peer-to-Peer Model developed by College Access: Research & Action (CARA) in New York City. CARA’s model has been successfully implemented within the City University of New York (CUNY) system, empowering college students to support their peers in navigating through the challenges of persistence in college.  

 Currently, four passionate and dedicated Titan PULSE Mentors have committed to actively engaging with their college community and supporting the success of their peers. Their eagerness was evident as they arrived bright and early on a Saturday morning to begin the first few hours of training this month. Their training consisted of various activities such as role-play scenarios, visual mapping, surveying, and group discussions, fostering great conversations and promoting engagement and new learning to prepare them for success as they support their caseloads of students. Each mentor has different career aspirations and brings unique identities and perspectives that represent the diverse communities at TCC and within Tacoma.

 We look forward to being a part of their journey and seeing the program’s progress!