The Scholar's Mentorship Program (SMP) is a networking initiative for talented and high achieving general admission students of color. Beginning from the assumption that networking is a major key to success in the 21st Century, it was founded in 1988 by the members of the MRP Scholarship Committee--James Lee, Kate Hymes-Flanagan, George Roberts, Meredith Torres and Margaret Wade-Lewis. A year later, the Peer Mentorship Program founded by Gweneth Lloyd of the Psychological Counseling Center became part of the SMP.
The Scholar’s Mentorship Program (SMP) has grown from a networking initiative involving fifteen faculty/staff mentors and thirty-three first year protégés in the year of its founding (1988) to a multi-faceted program with fifty-six faculty/staff mentors and two-hundred and thirty protégés. Over the past twenty years, it has regularly added new components. The SMP is a major factor in the attraction of high achieving and talented general admission students of color to SUNY New Paltz, plays a major role in their performance and retention, and adds to the prestige of the college as a university that maintains excellence concurrently with cultural diversity.
Like the other networking programs--First Year Initiative (FYI) and Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs)--the Scholar's Mentorship Program provides a good start to a college career. While the traditional student groups are Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans, any student who is not a student of color may participate in the program by joining during Orientation, becoming a peer mentor, enrolling in the courses, and attending events.
Students of any ethnic group may join SMP. All students in the program may participate for their entire undergraduate years.