• Fall 2021 Update:

    Dear Students,

    Welcome to the Fall 2021 semester at LaGuardia! The Student Success Mentor (SSM) Program is excited to support you along your LaGuardia Journey.

    If your First Year Seminar or Capstone Studio Hour is meeting virtually, be sure to check your LaGuardia email account for an email from your SSM with details about how to attend Studio Hour virtually. If you have not received an email from your SSM, or have any questions about the Studio Hour component of your course and how it will meet in a virtual format, please write to SSM@lagcc.cuny.edu or connect with your FYS or Capstone course professor. "

    Your SSM looks forward to working with you this semester and supporting you along your distance-learning journey! To learn more about your SSM, click the Mentors tab at the top of this page. If you need support from an SSM and wish to make an appointment, click the FYS Lab tab.

    Wishing you a great start to the semester!






  • Join the Team


    The program is currently accepting applications for prospective SSMs to join the team! The application will be open from November 3, - December 13, 2021. You can find below a description of the Student Success Mentor (SSM) position, roles, responsibilities, and the requirements to become an SSM. Please note: This will be an in-person position.



    • Attending and participating in required training sessions scheduled to take place in January and February.
    • Facilitating the First Year Seminar Studio Hour in-person, on-campus.
    • Implementing ePortfolio-based assignments and helping students utilize LaGuardia’s digital tools, e.g., Degree Audit.
    • Helping new-to-college students adjust to the challenges of college and take advantage of the many opportunities and resources at LaGuardia.
    • Serving as a bridge between First Year Seminar college students and faculty.
    • Providing support at First Year student events and contributing to the creation of First Year Seminar resources.
    • Sharing one’s own student experiences and tips for success.
    • Collaborating with other Peer Mentors to support First Year Students in areas such as advising, and technology support.

    • Candidates must be current LaGuardia Community College students with a minimum of 24 completed credits and two semesters with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher.
    • Be proficient in English; proficiency in other languages is a plus.
    • Possess strong oral and written communication skills.
    • Possess strong leadership skills as well as the ability to collaborate and work as part of a team.
    • Possess a strong commitment to integrity in the workplace.
    • Have excellent interpersonal skills.
    • Have demonstrated success with distance-learning.
    • Possess a solid understanding of the distance-learning student experience, along with an enthusiasm for supporting student success in a virtual environment.

    Preference will be given to candidates who:
    • Possess knowledge of the following software & platforms: Digication, MS Office, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, Slack.
    • Have previous experience developing their own ePortfolio.
    • Have previous mentoring experience.
    • Can articulate and demonstrate working proficiency and comfort with the above-mentioned technologies.
    • Can commit to working for at least two full semesters.


    Apply Today


  • Students giving a lecture
  • Student Success Mentor Program


    The Student Success Mentor (SSM) program works with students in the First Year Seminar across nearly all majors and disciplines; including Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts: Social Science and Humanities, Liberal Arts: Math and Science, Natural Sciences, and Psychology majors. Since 2014, the SSM program has been committed to providing support to first year students adjusting to college life and getting to know the campus and resources. Since 2017, SSMs have also provided support to Studio Hours affiliated with select Capstone-level courses.





  • Who We Are


    The Student Success Mentor provides a wide-range of support to students while facilitating the Studio Hour component of a discipline-specific First Year Seminar course or Capstone course. They introduce students to key strategies and habits of mind for academic success, initiate and guide ePortfolio development, promote co-curricular learning opportunities, and share important campus resources designed to support each student’s academic journey.


    • SSMs have a lot of experience to share with first year students as college students currently studying at LaGuardia, or LaGuardia graduates studying at a senior college. 
    • SSMs have been academically successful at LaGuardia and impart these methods on their FYS students. 
    • SSMs can offer useful tips on using and benefiting from college resources available to you.
    • SSMs will help you develop your ePortfolio; a valuable tool that you will use throughout your LaGuardia journey. Please click here to view a gallery of exemplary ePortfolios.
    • And more
    • SSMs help students refine and polish their core ePortfolio originally created in the FYS course.
    • SSMs Offer guidance and resources around transfer planning.
    • SSMs collaborate with the LaGuardia Center for Career and Professional Development in providing career guidance as Capstone students prepare to graduate from LaGuardia.

  • Student discussing



  • FYS
  • First Year Seminar


    The First Year Seminar (FYS) is a graduation requirement that provides students with a gateway to the academic and co-curricular experience at LaGuardia. It will offer you a closer look at your chosen major and career plan, help you develop study skills key to success in college, and introduce you to the many resources available at LaGuardia. You can stop by the FYS lab in C-447 if you need assistance with your ePortfolio or with any other FYS assignment.


    • Connect with a faculty member within your major. 
    • Work with a Student Success Mentor (SSM). 
    • Learn about your major and related career opportunities.
    • Strengthen essential study skills like time-management and note-taking as well as learn strategies that support academic success.
    • Learn about the course selection process at LaGuardia and create a graduation plan.
    • Learn about transfer options once you graduate and start to work toward specific transfer goals.
    • Develop your own academic ePortfolio and learn about LaGuardia’s digital tools.
    • Learn about the importance of co-curricular participation and what events you should attend.
    • Develop an awareness of the many resources available to help you succeed in college.
    Absolutely! The course will prove to be especially useful in introducing you to LaGuardia's courses, resources, policies and transfer options. It will also offer you an opportunity to connect with faculty, other students, and staff which will help you successfully transition to a new college environment. It is also a requirement of all LaGuardia students, including transfer students.
    The First Year Seminar includes a Studio Hour facilitated by a Student Success Mentor. During this hour, you will create your own ePortfolio and be mentored by an SSM. SSMs, all of whom are either current LaGuardia students or graduates attending a 4-year college, understand what it means to be a LaGuardia student and will share their experiences, tips and resources to help you succeed at LaGuardia.
    ePortfolio is a digital tool which you will use to collect and store your academic work, reflect on your learning over time and connect with classmates, faculty, advisors, and prospective employers. You will begin the staged process of building your ePortfolio in the First Year Seminar and continue to add to and reflect on its contents from semester to semester. ePortfolio will help you gain an understanding of your own growth and improvement as a college student. While developing your ePortfolio, you will begin developing an academic and professional digital identity as well as basic graphic design skills. The Virtual FYS Lab, is able to provide you with additional ePortfolio support.



  • SSM Do’s and Don’ts

    Are you a faculty member working with an SSM? Are you an FYS student working with an SSM in the Studio Hour? Here’s what you need to know about working with an SSM.


  • SSMs Do:

    • Facilitate the First Year Seminar Studio Hour  
    • Share their own experiences and provide tips for academic success 
    • Know the ”ins and outs” of being a student at LaGuardia
    • Prepare reports on student ePortfolio progress to share with faculty
    • Share college resources, opportunities and tools to help students succeed in college
    • Reinforce the themes of the FYS through engaging Studio Hour activities.
    • Serve as a student’s mentor, role model and cheerleader!


  • SSMs Don't:

    • Lecture students 
    • Grade ePortfolios or assign grades for the FYS Studio Hour 
    • Lift advisement holds
    • Advise students on financial aid, course selection, or any other component of the advising process at LaGuardia




  • Contact Us

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    Ellen Quish


    Director of First-Year Programming and Student Success


    Room: M-311B
    718-482-5382
    equish@lagcc.cuny.edu

    Estefany Gonzaga


    Coordinator, Student Success Mentor Program


    Room: M-311A
    718-799-7608
    egonzaga@lagcc.cuny.edu

    David Brandt


    Professional Development and Communication Coordinator for CTL Student Success Programs

    Room: M-311
    718-730-7563
    dbrandt@lagcc.cuny.edu