The Start to Finish mentoring program is a joint effort between CGPDI and The Graduate School as a multi-tiered intervention and support strategy for the University of Kentucky’s historically underrepresented populations in undergraduate, graduate, and professional fields of study. The first tier of the mentoring program includes graduate and professional students paired in either a small group with a faculty fellow or partnered with a faculty member for a one-to-one experience. It is by this experience that the URMs in graduate or professional programs will receive guided support to matriculate through their programs successfully. The second tier of the program affords graduate and professional students the opportunity to practice mentorship by mentoring undergraduate URMs. Graduate and professional students will implement observed and learned mentorship behaviors from their experiences to act as a “guide” to the undergraduate students.

One of the unique characteristics about graduate and professional students is that students begin to contribute knowledge to a field of study and they begin to function as members of a profession. This transitional period involves growth in the professional/academic arena and in personal skills. To support both professional and personal skill development, mentoring focuses on such areas as acculturation, priority setting, networking, career planning, and counseling related to the individual’s (mentee’s) identified goals toward advancement in their field. This multi-tiered, intergenerational mentoring program will offer participants professional and academic support, and cultural and social capital resources as they matriculate through their tenure at the University of Kentucky.