Food and Resource Economics Agricultural Mentorship Program (AMP)
The Food and Resource Economics Agricultural Mentorship Program (AMP) is a new resource offered for first-semester FRE students. New students will be paired with an experienced peer to be their mentor over the course of their first semester (new summer students will join AMP in the fall). Students interested in becoming a mentor or a mentee will need to fill out an application by September 1.
The Agricultural Mentoring Program (AMP) is in place to provide a network of support for new students in the Food and Resource Economics Department (FRED). Mentors help guide mentees through involvement opportunities, department essentials, and university resources from a peer perspective.
We understand student development takes place in and out of the classroom. AMP aims to provide development of the whole student during their transition to UF and FRE while placing importance on the benefits of involvement throughout their academic career.
We are dedicated to the development and success of our students. There is more to gain from the college experience than attending classes. AMP serves as a guide to learn about all FRED has to offer and develop friendships and a network!
As many students within the department find FRE later on in their academic careers, this target population (typically transferring from a college to a research university) may perceive this transition as a triggering event (Goodman, Schlossberg, Anderson, 2006). Students transferring from smaller academic settings to UF need additional support in their first semester to comfortably transition into their new environment culture and policies (Townsend, Wilson, 2006). AMP was developed in conjunction with numerous staff and faculty in the department. Originally as part of a proposal for the approved USDA Multicultural Scholarship Program, we found mentorship should be an opportunity available for all incoming students.
The mentorship program was developed starting Spring 2021 by Danielle Shu and Savannah Maddox (now in Animal Sciences in CALS) in collaboration with students in the UF Food and Resource Economics undergraduate and Student Personnel in Higher Education graduate programs. The program employs the six aspects of the Theory of Mattering and Marginality (Schlossberg, 1989) in addition to Schlossberg's Transitional Theory (Goodman et al., 2006) to empower students to successfully transition into the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences - Food and Resource Economics Department. Students will be guided through three phases: moving in, moving through, moving out and by facilitating the 4 S's (Situation, Self, Support, Strategies), students will be able to develop personal assets, resources, and resilience.
The goal when launching this program is to decrease the risk of students feeling overwhelmed in the transfer process. We feel a mentorship program based on student development theory will aid in the goal of benefiting the whole student and their overall success at the University of Florida and beyond. The program was first launched in Fall 2021 for Summer/Fall 2021 admits. Since then, the program has run every Fall and Spring semester.
Goodman, J., Schlossberg, N., Anderson, M.L., (2006). Counseling adults in transition: Linking practice with theory. (3rd Ed.) Springer Publishing Company.
Schlossberg, N.K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: Key issues in building community. In D.C. Roberts (Ed.)., Designing campus activities to foster a sense of community. New Directions for Student Services, no. 48, pp. 5-15. Jossey-Bass.
Townsend, B. K., & Wilson, K. B. (2006). “A hand hold for a little bit”: Factors facilitating the success of community college transfer students to a large research university. Journal of College Student Development, 47(4), 439–456. https://doi.org/10.1353/csd.2006.0052