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Project #113

Mentors Advocating and Promoting Success (MAPS): Mapping an Online Presence for UNST Mentors Supporting Retention

The purpose of the Mentors Advocating and Promoting Success Project was to expand the MAPS retention initiative to better support online mentors by researching and offering training around best practices in online mentoring through a newly created widget built into Desire to Learn (D2L).


  • A new technology tool (the “Ask-A-MAPS Mentor” widget) was developed, implemented, and added to all new FRINQ and SINQ course shells. This places students one click away from contacting a MAPS mentor.
  • A tracking tool was developed to assess the responses of those using the Ask-A-MAPS Mentor widget. This allows UNST to measure student activity, the numbers of responses, types (FRINQ, SINQ, online, in person), as well as categories of retention issues addressed by the MAPS team (e.g., financial concerns, food insecurity, wellness, etc.).
  • Increased access to MAPS resources for FRINQ & SINQ students and mentors, as demonstrated by the creation of the tools described above.


This project has improved students’ ability to connect directly with the MAPS team via the new Ask-a-MAPS Mentor online widget ( UNST faculty can now add the widget to their D2L course shells for any UNST FRINQ or SINQ class, which places students one click away from contacting a MAPS mentor. In addition, all new FRINQ and SINQ course shells now automatically include the widget. The introduction of the widget has helped to create a visible presence for MAPS within UNST. This has helped to create a brand for peer mentoring that is formalized and immediately available for faculty, students, and mentors. It also fosters a culture of “it’s okay to ask” here at PSU, and this impact is important for fostering a climate of support and care for students at a large institution.


For more information, please see the End-of-Project Report, Artifacts, and Final Expenditure Report.



  • Erika Schnatz - Retention Project Program Assistant, University Studies
  • Neera Malhotra - MAPS Mentor, Graduate
  • Keela Johnson - MAPS Mentor, Graduate
  • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt - MAPS Mentor, Graduate
  • Rose Krivulka - MAPS Mentor, Undergraduate
  • Alyssa Martin - MAPS Mentor, Graduate
  • Jessica Rubinstein - MAPS Mentor, Undergraduate



Project Management Plan

Project Plan

Status Reports

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Original Proposal