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Mentoring Initiatives

June 17, 2011

Department: Biddle Center for Teaching, Learning & Community Engagement
Professor: Dr. Emma Savage-Davis

With a little help from friends, marginalized students are being given the opportunity to learn life skills, how to succeed in the academic world, and what it is like to assimilate into campus life at Coastal Carolina University.  Dr. Emma Savage-Davis has spear-headed two major grant funded initiatives through the Biddle Center for Teaching, Learning and Community Engagement.  These programs target both college-aged students with disabilities and students in K-12 who have been identified as being "at-risk."

In order to increase the diversity of the student population on campus, it was necessary to provide opportunities for those who may not normally have the ability to attend college. 
The LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) program gives people with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to complete a post-secondary degree by having academic and/or social mentors that are there for them throughout the experience.

The four areas that the LIFE program seeks to strengthen are academic enrichment, socialization, independent living skills, and competitive or supportive employment. Through full inclusion
in developmentally appropriate classes, students with different abilities interact to enrich each other.  This initiative has helped to truly enrich many lives.

Dr. Savage-Davis also directs the Dalton and Linda Floyd Family Mentoring Program.   The goal of this program is to improve the K-12 students' academic and personal success, while increasing their overall high school graduation rate.  The root problems are  targeted in an attempt to give each child a chance at success by pairing them with a mentor from CCU. 

This Mentoring Program entails Horry, Georgetown, and Athletics mentoring initiatives.  College athletes participate in community-based service highlighting them as leaders
and role-models, while other CCU students mentor targeted children at local schools.

The behaviors, attitudes and goals of the K-12 students change dramatically after having a CCU "friend" to listen, talk and really focus on their needs.  Teachers and parents report improvements not only academically as students, but also in becoming positive leaders among their peers.  To help fund this program, a yearly golf tournament is held to help
provide scholarships.

The Biddle Center seeks to promote a community of academically successful and supported grades K-16 students and to strengthen the community through education.  To see
the other functions of the Center or if you are interested in mentoring, please contact 843-349-2665 for further information.

For additional information: http://www.coastal.edu/cec/