REACH (Retain, Engage, Aspire, Connect, Help) Peer Mentoring Program

The REACH Peer Mentoring program is designed to assist participants in successfully transitioning to life as a Ball State Student. We offer two different ways students can choose to participate in the program.

We know that leaving home and starting life in college is a challenging transition. We want to help you ease into your new home at Ball State with our three-day summer program focused on the experiences of first-year students of color and first-generation students.

Summer Opportunity

The program, formally known as EXCEL, is an opportunity to make new friends and get first-hand experience of college life before classes start. We will pair you with a peer mentor who is a returning student with proved academic and social skills, who will guide you through these aspects of Ball State.

With our focus on community and developing your sense of belonging, you will have opportunities to:

  • Connect with upper class mentors and other students
  • Engage in developmental and interactive activities
  • Experience living in the residence halls

Fall Opportunity

In the fall, you can continue the program with a 1-credit hour course (EDHI 401) to focus on building your academic and social skills to help you successfully transition as a Ball State Student by:

  • Connecting with an upper-class mentor, who will help guide you though your transition to life at Ball State University
  • Intentional interactions with mentors, faculty, staff, and alumni who encourage and support you in your unique cultural journey through college
  • Being introduced to academic, social, and personal resources to help successfully navigate university systems and processes
  • Gain course credit for a minor in Leadership

Program Date: August 13-15th

Please note that four other Summer Bridge Programs - Accelerate, Career Connections, Cardinal Leadership and Service Seminar, and Early Start - take place during the same dates as REACH, so if you are registering for this program, you cannot register as a participant in any of the other four. 



Includes meals, lodging, activities  

Register here

To register for the Fall program, follow the instructions below. 

  1. Go to your self-service banner
  2. Under registration, select course Add / Drop / Withdrawal
  3. Use the CRN 34867


As a peer mentor, you will need to: 

  • Serve as a resource and guide for assigned first year students. 

  • Serve as a role model in actions and words. 

  • Connect students to appropriate opportunities to engage in curricular and co-curricular opportunities. 

  • Serve as a liaison between students and the Multicultural Center. 

  • Attend all required trainings. 


  • maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA 

  • 30+ credits completed 

  • be familiar with campus resources 

  • be involved in a minimum of one curricular or co-curricular opportunity for a minimum of 2 semesters 

  • possess a basic knowledge of and care about issues that affect students of color and marginalized communities 

  • support the mission and work of the Multicultural Center 

  • demonstrate strong interpersonal skills 

REACH mentors will be recognized for their efforts through letters of recommendation and references that reflect their work effort. They will also receive recognition at the annual Achievement Awards and many other unique opportunities through the Multicultural Center and Division of Student Affairs. 

The REACH Program is a volunteer program, but mentors can receive the following: 

Summer Benefits

  • Reach Mentors who participate in only the summer program will receive a meal card for the duration of the program

Fall Benefits 

  • Reach Mentors who participate in only the fall program may apply for $100 book voucher to use for the spring semester to purchase textbooks
  • Gain 1-credit hour in the Leadership minor

Mentors who do both programs

  • REACH Mentors who participate in both summer and fall programs will receive a $200 meal card for the fall semester.
  • Letters of recommendations and references
  • Recognition at annual Achievement Awards

How does pairing work?

You will be asked to complete a survey which we will use to determine your mentor.

What does my fee cover?

Your $135 student fee will cover your housing, meals, and activities within the program.

What if I am not able to pay the student fee for the program?

You may contact us at or call us at 765-285-1344 and we can work out options for you to participate.

Will I have to pay a fee for the fall program?

No, only our summer program requires payment.

Do I have to sign up for the fall program if I sign up for the summer?

We encourage students to take both portions as each one has unique experiences and benefits, but students may take only the summer portion if they want. 

Will I receive class credit if I take the summer program?

No, you will only receive credit for the fall program.

What are the differences between the summer and fall program?

The summer program only lasts 3 days and focuses on building community and sense of belonging. The fall program lasts a majority of the fall semester and helps you develop academic skills to succeed. In both programs, you will have a mentor help guide you through your college experience.

Will the class be available for the spring semester?

No, the class is primarily focused on the fall semester to help first-year students become acclimated in their first semester.

I am not a student of color or a first-generation student, would I still be able to join the program?

Yes, we accept all students into our program until capacity is reached.


How do I become a mentor?

Mentors for the 2023-2024 Academic year have already been selected. Applications for the next academic year will open up spring semester 2024. 

What if I only want to do only summer and not fall (or vice versa)?

Students can opt into whichever program works best for them. However, priority in the selection process will be given to those who are able to do both programs. Students who do both fall and summer will also receive a $200 meal card to be used at any Ball State dining facility for the semester. 

Will I have to attend all trainings?

Mentors need to be present for all training regardless of fall/summer

If I were a mentor before do I have to reapply?

Yes, you will still have to go through the process of applying and interviewing to be selected.

If I was a REACH Mentor before, would I still get the class credit again?

Yes, you would be able to receive duplicate credit for the course. You are encouraged to speak with your academic advisor.

Will I get housing over the summer?

Yes, your housing will be covered over the course of training and the program.