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GenExcel (formerly Partners for Success) is a pilot mentoring program for first-generation freshmen entering California State University, Long Beach. The program is designed to assist this student population’s transition from high school to college by offering support and making appropriate referrals to campus resources. The core purpose of GenExcel is to pair faculty with students of similar interest in order to cultivate meaningful relationships, to support student success, and to increase retention. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is eligible to be a mentor?

Full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty and full-time lecturer faculty are eligible to become mentors for the pilot.

Are part-time faculty eligible to serve as mentors?

No. At this time, only full-time faculty can participate in the pilot.

Are library faculty eligible to serve as mentors?

No. The funding prevents us from compensating in any other way than as a course release.

I will be on sabbatical leave during one of the semesters of the pilot. Am I eligible to serve as a mentor?

No. Leave policy prevents faculty from doing the kind of additional work that is required for the program while they are on leave.

Under the qualifications it says "full-time." Does this mean "official full-time" or does this requirement mean teaching full time credits?

For the pilot, only "official" full-time tenured / tenure-track faculty and full-time lecturer faculty are eligible to participate.

Could the compensation be converted into additional employment (i.e. salary) instead of 3 WTUs?

No. The funding prevents us from compensating in any other way than as a course release.

Which semester is the course release?

The course release would be taken the year following the fourth semester of service. Faculty who particpate in the pilot (Fall and Spring of AY 2019-2020 and 2020-2021), will be eligible for the release time equivalent to one 3-unit course in Fall 2021 or Spring 2022.

Is there a commitment as to what faculty would be expected to do with the 3 WTUs earned after the fourth semester of service?

The requirement for receiving the 3 WTUs are to fulfill the obligations of the mentorship for four consecutive semesters. There are no requirements regarding the use of the 3 WTUs.

Who would I mentor?

Undeclared, first-generation freshmen entering CSULB in Fall 2019 and Fall 2020.

How many mentees should I expect to work with?

Mentors can expect to work with 2 to 4 mentees each academic year.

What is my role as a mentor?

Mentors meet with each mentee at least three times during the fall and spring semesters to support their transition from high school to college. In these meetings, students and faculty discuss academics, major selection, and career goals. 

How long is my commitment to this program?

For the pilot, we are asking faculty mentors to commit to the program for two academic years. In other words, since GenExcel is a one-year program, faculty commit to being a mentor for two cohorts: Fall 2019-Spring 2020 and Fall 2020-Spring 2021.

How do I become a mentor?

Applicants must submit an Interest Form by Monday, June 3, 2019. Please be prepared to upload a resume / curriculum vitae and a letter of application* addressing these questions:

  1. Why do you want to work with first-generation freshmen?
  2. What expertise do you have working with this student population?

*Note: Letter of application must be signed by department chair and dean of college.

Is there a word or page limit for the letter of application?

No. There is no word or page limit for the letter of application.

Does my letter of application have to be signed by my department chair and college dean?

Yes. Please insert a line in your letter of application for your chair and dean to sign. Scan and upload it as part of your application when filling out the interest form.

Is this considered service to the University?

Since what counts for service and how it counts varies by department, faculty members should discuss this with their department chairs.

How are students and mentors matched?

Mentors and mentees are matched based on their career and major objectives as well as other shared interests.

What if I would like my mentor relationship to continue longer than a year?

The duration of the formal mentoring program is one year. If you and your mentee have established a good mentor/mentee relationship, you can continue the relationship on a voluntary basis.

What if the match does not seem to be working?

Either party has the right to terminate the mentor/mentee relationship by contacting