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Spark is an MSU service that works to ease the transition from high school to university for incoming first-year students through our mentorship program and events.

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What is our mentorship program?

The Spark Mentorship Program strives to connect small groups of first-year students with upper-year mentors for weekly sessions that cover a wide range of topics and activities. The program will not only help first-year students build a stronger peer support network, it will also introduce participants to a wide range of involvement opportunities. Ideally, Spark will help first-year students connect with other students, learn about campus resources, and build life-long friendships.

What is the program’s structure?

The mentorship program spans 16 weeks (eight weeks in the fall semester and eight weeks in the winter semester), with each week exploring a unique theme. Once students register, they will be put into a group of about 10 first-year students from different backgrounds; different faculties, residences/off-campus, and programs. Each group will be paired with two upper year Team Leaders for the term. The upper-year students you connect with will also be available to support you outside of the program, as well as following its completion. Spark strives to help incoming students find a supportive community on campus by connecting them to upper-year students, and to each other.

Your group will have the same meeting time and day each week (one afternoon or evening between Monday and Thursday, from 1:30-2:30 pm or 5:30-6:30pm) where you will explore a unique theme related to university success. You will have the opportunity to indicate your session night preference when registering for the program, and we will do our best to accommodate your schedule!

Community Engagement

Along with sessions, Spark also hosts various community events for first year students and offers leadership opportunities through the Spark Ambassadors program. Spark Ambassadors provide first-year students registered in Spark with an opportunity to work closely with Spark’s executive team(s) and share ongoing feedback about programming.

Spark provides a scholarship program, open to all Spark registrants, called the Spark Achievement in Leadership Award. The award is bestowed one or two first-year student(s) in recognition of enthusiasm and engagement in the Spark program. Students can apply for the scholarship during the winter semester, after successfully meeting the eligibility criteria. The release dates and eligibility criteria for the scholarship vary year-to-year and will be shared with students registered in Spark during the first couple weeks of sessions.