Mentoring in Meaningful Relationships

Connections Rooted at Elon

Recognizing the importance of relationships for success and well-being not only in college but beyond, Elon University’s new strategic plan, Boldly Elon, leads with an ambitious agenda:

“Through a groundbreaking mentoring model, students will learn to build developmental networks that include peers, staff, and faculty, as well as others beyond the university.”

Our Elon community is composed of multiple stakeholders: students, faculty, staff, alumni, family members, and community partners. Starting in the fall of 2022, Elon’s Mentoring Initiative Design Team (MDT) was tasked to develop, foster, and elevate strategic partnerships and programs across the institution. Their aim is to provide an attainable path by which Elon is an exemplar institution that is committed to providing all members of the university community with sustainable and equitably accessible skills and opportunities to build multiple meaningful relationships.

Our Elon faculty, staff, and students are already committed to and doing high-quality work to ensure the development of meaningful relationships, specifically regarding mentoring. This engagement is found across all levels of the institution.

The campus culture endorses relationship building through the integration of curricular and co-curricular initiatives both on campus and beyond as well as the layering of high impact practices and student employment.

We believe that the goal of a collegiate experience is the successful navigation through the institution en route to a unique, meaningful, and dynamic purpose, career, and life. At Elon finding and maintaining meaningful relationships through both opportunities and skill development reinforces our commitment to cherish the Numen Lumen that resides within all of us.

An Elon mentor sitting at a desk in their office across from their mentee.


A team of faculty and staff are charged with envisioning an infrastructure that provides students multiple pathways, skills and agency to build meaningful relationships and mentoring networks with a community of peers, faculty and staff.

A student wearing goggles and a white lab coat piping liquid into a glass bottle as a professor stands behind them.

Relationships in Action

Whether they begin in the classroom, at a campus job, in an organization or residence hall, mentoring relationships have a lasting impact on faculty, staff and students. They often define mentors’ and mentees’ Elon experience.

An Elon mentor and their mentee sitting at a table in a cafeteria having lunch.

The Team

A group of faculty, staff, students and alumni were selected to participate on the Mentoring Initiatives Design Team, which is made up of the executive team, co-curricular subcommittee, curricular subcommittee and integration subcommittee.

A mentor and their mentee sitting at a round table on a brick patio looking at a laptop and notebook.

About the ACE Report

In order to conduct a careful study of the current landscape of mentoring in higher education and at Elon, an Elon team worked with the American Council on Education (ACE) on their new Learner Success Lab (LSL). Elon was one of ten institutions in the inaugural cohort.