Student Success Mentors

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Room: M-Building, M-311
Phone: (718) 730-7608/7563

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Join the Team

The SSM program will be accepting applications from Monday, April 15 – Friday, May 31 for the 2024-2025 academic year. Below, you can find a description of the Student Success Mentor (SSM) position, roles, responsibilities, and the requirements to become an SSM. Check out the ‘Day in the Life of an SSM’ video under Roles & Responsibilities! Additionally, we encourage you to visit the SSM Application Tip site created by Student Success Mentors to learn about what makes for a successful application to the SSM Program.

Position, Roles, Responsibilities, and Requirements

Lead the First Year Seminar Studio Hour 
  • Implementing ePortfolio-based assignments and helping students utilize LaGuardia’s digital tools, e.g., Degree Audit. 
  • Providing input and collaborating with faculty on Studio Hour content and activities.  
  • Documenting and reporting student progress and attendance to First Year Seminar faculty 
Support First Year Seminar Student Success 
  • Sharing your own student experiences and tips for college success. 
  • 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. 
  • Collaborating with other Peer Mentors to support First Year Students in areas such as advising, and technology support. 
  • Attend required training sessions in July and August 2024.  
  • Demonstrated success as a college student and be either a current student at LaGuardia Community College with a minimum of 24 completed credits and two semesters with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher or a recent graduate attending a four-year college. Academic success is a priority in the SSM program. However, we understand that some students may have had less success earlier on in their studies. Ultimately, we seek to acknowledge students who can demonstrate growth through recent success.
  • Be proficient in English; proficiency in other languages is a plus. 
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills. 
  • Possess strong oral and written communication skills. 
  • Possess strong leadership skills and the ability to collaborate and work as part of a team. 
  • Possess a strong commitment to integrity and professionalism in the workplace. 
  • Possess knowledge of the following software & platforms: Digication, MS Office, Blackboard Collaborate, Zoom, MS Teams. 
  • 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 as an SSM for at least two full semesters.
  • Be provided with paid training and professional development opportunities
  • Be a valued member of a professional and supportive team of diverse student leaders
  • Further, develop your academic skills while gaining valuable professional experience
  • Earn $17.00 per hour

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.


Academic Resources

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.

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

Department Contacts

Ellen Quish, Director of First-Year Programming and Student SuccessM-311B
(718) 482-5382
Estefany Gonzaga, Coordinator, Student Success Mentor ProgramM-311A
(718) 799-7608
David Brandt, Professional Development and Communication Coordinator for CTL Student Success ProgramsM-311
(718) 730-7563