Pathways is a mentoring program housed in the Graduate School that matches undergraduate and graduate students from marginalized backgrounds (e.g., domestic Students of Color, LGBTQIA2S+ students, students with disabilities, low-income students, student veterans, students with dependents, etc.) with faculty, staff, community professionals, and distinguished alumni associated with Ball State University.

By meeting with a mentor on a consistent basis, interacting with other Pathways mentees, and participating in Pathways- and University-sponsored events, students gain knowledge and establish critical networks to support their graduate education and career goals. Ultimately, Pathways aims to provide opportunities for students to build crucial relationships and skills necessary to pursue graduate education and beyond. 


The program works to achieve the following goals:

  • To establish positive and supportive relationships between mentors and mentees
  • To support underrepresented students working toward graduate degree completion
  • To support students’ professional development through academic and career skill-building
  • To motivate students to pursue graduate education and the professoriate
  • To demystify and assist students with the graduate school application process
  • To increase the skill level of faculty and professionals at Ball State to mentor       

Program Structure

To achieve the major goal of mentoring students throughout their graduate education and career journeys, the structure of the Pathways program includes the following components discussed in detail below.

Community-building Gatherings & Funding

Community-Building Gatherings & Funding

To facilitate community building within the program and support structured mentoring interactions between mentees and their mentors, Pathways organizes several scheduled events (e.g., an initial welcome reception, faculty experiences panel, student workshops, mentoring partner social events and end-of-the-year reception event) to facilitate regular communication among the larger cohort of mentees and mentors.

At the start of each semester, mentees commit to attending at least two professional development events each semester.  Program coordinators (i.e., Pathways graduate assistants and Graduate School Faculty Fellow) document student attendance for student eligibility for small grant funding.

Pathways Kick-Off  – Oct. 4, 5 pm, Student Center Cardinal Hall A

Craft & Chow Down – Nov. 7, 5 pm, Rinard Orchid Greenhouse Meeting Room

Pathways Palooza  – Feb. 8, 12:30 pm,  Student Center Cardinal Hall A

Celebration of Excellence – May 3, 6 pm, Pruis Auditorium


Mentoring Partnerships

The mentoring partnerships between mentors and mentees comprise the heart of the Pathways mentoring program. Unstructured, informal meetings between mentor-mentee pairs provide more opportunities for more personalized support for students. Mentoring pairs will collaboratively decide on the frequency and medium for communicating beyond the minimum requirement for informal mentoring interactions at the start of their involvement in the program.

This communication can come in the form of email, phone calls, informal meetings over lunch or other non-academic activities. These decisions will be documented in the mentorship agreement initialed by both parties at the beginning of the partnership. Bi-weekly communication (minimum) between mentee and mentors is strongly encouraged.

GOLD Professional Development Workshops

Pathways mentees have access to dozens of professional development workshops to support building their skills and competency in the areas of career success, communication, inclusive excellence, research, teaching, and wellness. 

Register for GOLD Workshops

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For questions about Pathways or the Pathways Mentoring program, contact program coordinator Dr. Scarlett Hester.