SASP Diversity Mentorship Program

The author unveils a new SASP initiative to mentor students through interactive discussions on topics related to diversity

By Kennetha Frye, MS

Greetings Members! I hope everyone had a restful spring break and you are ready to finish off the semester. I would like to describe a new initiative from SASP: the Diversity Mentorship Program. The goal of this initiative is for professionals and faculty from diverse backgrounds or interested in research related to diversity to mentor students through interactive discussions on topics related to diversity. For more information on this new initiative, please see below for a description of the program as well as a rough timeline for the program.

Description of mentoring program

Mentors/mentees should be willing to communicate on a monthly basis about diversity issues in school psychology and other relevant interests of the mentor/mentee. This relationship should be one that is mutually beneficial in which both parties should be able to gain and offer things throughout this process. Mentors/mentees should each be willing to send a quarterly mentor/mentee update (should take about 10-15 minutes) to the Diversity Affairs Chair at the end of the quarter that summarizes the nature of their interaction and activities for that quarter. The goal of collecting information is to provide support, as needed, to program participants and help SASP in improving this new initiative based on participant feedback and the open exchange of ideas and best practices. Although there are recommended activities and a few requirements, mentors and mentees should set goals and guidelines for their individual relationship. Please see a list of recommended activities:

Highly recommended activities:

  • Discuss issues of diversity in relation to psychology as a whole, and specifically to school psychology 

  • Discuss research and offer advice on successfully completing the thesis/dissertation process 

  • Offer advice on the internship application process and how to successfully obtain an internship 

  • Discuss relevant articles on multiculturalism and diversity in school psychology 

  • Discuss the importance of multicultural competence in the workplace and methods of implementation

Optional activities:

  • Offer advice on joining other psychological associations that promote diversity 

  • Discuss possible ways that students can advocate for diversity within the field. Some ways include getting involved with leadership in SASP, NASP, APA, etc. 

  • Students can also discuss the state of graduate students, their feelings about diversity within the field, and ways to address it 

  • Possibly team up on research projects

Goals of the program: 

  • Connect students and professionals with common interests related to diversity 

  • Provide the opportunity to interact (i.e. communicate, collaborate on research) with professionals outside of their program 

  • Develop a lasting professional relationship

Application materials are as follows. Mentee applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.