The SMART Mentoring Program

(Student Mentors Advising Rising Talent)

What is SMART?

Established in 1994, the Student Mentors Advising Rising Talent (S.M.A.R.T.) program is a key initiative of Elon University’s Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education. This program has a 29 year legacy of easing the transition of students of color to Elon and enhances the social engagement and academic success of first-year and transfer students. Students who participate in SMART will:

  • Receive guidance from an upperclassmen through peer-to-peer mentoring
  • Enhance their social, academic and leadership experiences
  • Be exposed to campus and community resources, and other leadership opportunities
  • Develop individual bonds and a strong sense of belonging on campus
  • Deepen their understanding of personal identities and the identities of others

Who Joins SMART?

SMART is designed to support the needs of students who identify with the ALANAM (African-American/Black, Latinx/Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American/American Indian, Alaskan Native, Multiracial) community.

Why Should I Join SMART?

The transition from high school to college can be a complicated process. Students, particularly from ALANAM populations, experience challenges that may affect their sense of connectedness and belonging. Some common struggles include being away from home for the first time, adapting to new responsibilities and time commitments, as well as adapting to a new university culture.

The SMART program is designed to help first-year and transfer ALANAM students of all interests, majors, and identities address these challenges during this transformative time in their lives. For many students in these communities, intentional support through peer, faculty and staff mentoring is critical to making sure students feel supported and can succeed in their undergraduate experiences; academically, socially, and professionally. Our Mentors, Student Coordinators, and staff intentionally plan events centered around academic success, community-building, and identity celebration and awareness to ensure mentees feel a sense of belonging on Elon’s campus and are set up for success.

Click Here for Student Perspectives on the SMART Program

Become Involved in SMART!

Do you want to have a Mentee?

Incoming first-year and transfer students interested in being a Mentee, should complete the Mentee Interest Form. Once you are on campus, we will contact you with more information about the mentee registration form as well as SMART events!

Do you want to be a Mentor?

If you are a rising sophomore, junior or senior and interested in serving as a SMART Mentor during the 2023-2024 academic year, please complete the SMART Mentor application or contact Odaly Rivas at for more information.