Carnegie Mellon University

About the Program

The W@SCS/SCS4ALL mentoring program matches undergraduate first years with sophomores, juniors, or seniors with the goal of strengthening bonds between all members of the SCS community. The mentor/mentee relationship serves as an excellent opportunity for first years to connect with someone they can approach for friendship, advice, and support. Mentors have an opportunity to guide others and share their experiences and perceptions of computer science.

How to Get the Most out of the Program

Adequate planning

Top programs set clear goals and know what they want to accomplish. What resources, such as money, staff, time, and tools, are needed?

Managed expectations

You will get the most out of the program and be less likely to be frustrated or derailed if you know what to expect and what's expected of you. The best programs communicate program goals and expectations.


Make the most of your match-up meeting time thinking about characteristics, needs, backgrounds and preferences.

Community Building

Community building provides ways for sisters and other students and faculty to sustain regular interaction, share experiences and work through problems. We do this by holding Women@SCS/SCS4All meetings, professional and social activities, and specific mentor/mentee events.

Follow-up and Assessment

Let us have your comments and feedback on what works and what could be improved. Success also rests on intangibles such as personal chemistry, personality, desire and commitment, life events, and so on. But with all the basic elements in place, you'll improve the chances that mentoring relationships will thrive.


  1. What is mentoring? To guide, encourage, give advice and provide information. Mentors are not expected to have all the answers but may be able to suggest where to go for advice. Mentors, be there for your mentoree.

  2. What are the goals of the mentorship program? To provide an initial personal non-faculty connection with someone who has been in the same situation and to ensure freshmen don't feel isolated or lost thoughout their first year. Sometimes women and minorities can feel excluded and different in an area like CS where they are an underrepresented group. The ultimate goal is to contribute to success.

  3. What's the difference between a mentor and an advisor? Mentors often have a more personal relationship with mentees, but can be an advisor and/or role model as well. You can have many mentors in your life.

  4. What is an ideal mentor? Mentee? There is no profile of an ideal mentor or mentee. Success depends on the drive, willingness, availability, and good communication of both. The mentor and mentee should listen and respond to each other. At the same time, they should not have unrealistic expectations of each other.

  5. What if I don't get along with my mentor/mentee? Let the organizers know. People have different styles of communicating. Not all mentees/mentors will match well, so don't feel offended if you need to switch.

  6. What impact is the mentorship program hoping for? A successful experience for both students as well as a gained friend and colleague.