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updated: 11/14/2013 10:39 AM

Elmhurst College mentoring program earns accreditation

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Daily Herald News Services

The mentoring program at Elmhurst College's Center for Professional Excellence has achieved Gold Accreditation, the highest level possible, from the International Mentoring Association, a professional organization for the mentoring and coaching fields.

Elmhurst's mentoring program matches students with professionals from the students' fields of interest, and makes more than 200 volunteer mentors available to Elmhurst students each year. The program earned 100 out of an available 100 points in the IMA's evaluation.

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"This is confirmation that we're doing all the right things for our students, and that we have best practices in place that are recognized," said Julie Gonzales, coordinator of the mentoring program. "Our mentors help students learn what it means to be a professional."

The program is just one part of Elmhurst College's efforts to prepare students for lives of professional achievement. Starting in their first year, students can gain on-the-job experience through internships, service-learning experiences and more. According to a recent alumni survey, more than 93 percent of 2012 graduates were employed full time or pursuing an advanced degree within a year of their graduation.

About 150 students are participating in the mentoring program this academic year. Students meet regularly -- some as often as weekly -- with their mentors, who provide advice and insight to help students grow professionally and personally. The nature of each mentoring partnership is determined by the student's objectives and needs: Some want to explore possible career paths; others look for advice on networking; still others seek guidance on preparing for specific professional fields.

"We connect students with mentors of high integrity and good character that model how to be a responsible person in a global professional world," said Larry Carroll, executive director of the Center for Professional Excellence. "This fits into the focus we have at Elmhurst on student development and professional preparation. We want students to learn from people who are out in the professional world."

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