Women's Leadership Council Mentor Program

Main Content

The WLC Mentor Program will provide intangible benefits to students and encourage graduation while leading to a successful career path. The mentor program would be a “family” structure – as students may turn to the family with questions, concerns, or just for support.

Mentors can guide women students in their professional development and provide encouragement beyond the traditional methods of faculty and staff. The successful women mentors will provide a real-world viewpoint and share relevant experiences. Mentors will support students throughout their SIU careers in critical stages of academic and personal development. The mentors will have a guide for the initial four sessions to establish credibility, relationship, communication, and logistics. The mentors will have support from the SIU Foundation and Dean’s Suite to assist the relationship as needed, provide academic advice, and navigate the College and University systems. As students gain upper-class status, it is expected that they will assist the mentor family in welcoming and working with the new mentees.


Women volunteers from the SIU Foundation, Dean’s Suite, WLC Mentorship Committee, and Alumni Association will be the professional mentors for the students. The mentors will bring their expertise of the business world and provide reality and life checks for students setting a supportive and encouraging framework to reach goals. Mentors will have connections to University resources via the SIU Foundation to help navigate University questions, academic advisement, etc.

Mentors would be expected to have contact at least four times an academic year. The mentors will be matched with student participants and notified of selection approximately September 1st of each academic year. The mentors are not expected to have all the answers, but to be a source of reference and guidance for the students. Professionalism and empowerment of women are necessary in order to set an example for the students in the program.


  • Build a “family” relationship with your mentee. Be supportive, but have set clear, high expectations for her.
  • Help your mentee set goals and a path to reach them.
  • Offer suggestions and feedback on performance/activities.
  • Encourage mentees to “Get Involved” on campus in cultural, athletic, and other student engagement opportunities to expand their experiences.
  • Keep your mentee focused on the long-term goal of graduation and career placement.
  • Follow up with your staff resource person if there are concerns with the relationship.

Apply to Become a Mentor


Students will complete a formal application with a brief personal statement expressing interest in the program. Students will be selected primarily by personal statement, but also, major, career interest, and ideas on advancing women in the workplace. Students are expected to participate during their undergraduate careers at SIU.

Once in the program students are expected to engage with their Mentor a minimum of four times in an academic year. Meetings can be in person on campus, phone, Skype/FaceTime/Zoom, or through other real-time engagement forums. Events may be arranged for mentees such as SIU Foundation events, Homecoming, Move-In weekend, etc. Additional connections via social media are encouraged (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn).

Students would work with their mentor to create a dashboard of goals including, but not limited to academic, professional, and personal areas for each academic year. Students should show appreciation to the mentor and behave in a manner that reflects it. Communications from students should focus on topics about educational plans, goals, and current matters. Students are expected to be responsive to communications from mentors and interact with messages in a prompt manner. Students should maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA and good academic standing. Failure to meet interaction guidelines, or breaking the SIU student conduct code, may result in removal from the program and/or other sanctions.


  • Discuss your expectations from the relationship with your mentor.
  • Think about what you would like to learn from your mentor before responding to communications or having an interaction.
  • Commit to setting short and long-term goals for yourself.
  • Keep your mentor fully informed of your progress. If something is going well, share it. If it is not going well, share it. They may have some great ideas for you.
  • Maintain a professional demeanor.
  • Realize this is a privilege, and not necessarily a right to have a mentor. WLC Mentor Program is selective.

Apply to Become a Mentee