Faculty Information: First-Year Honors Mentor Program

For more than 20 years, this spring-semester program has provided opportunities for faculty to work with talented first-year students in their research. This program introduces students to the world of research beyond the classroom, and faculty can connect with high-ability students in the first stages of their college careers.

Students participate in a variety of scholarly projects from many disciplines. They can be mentored directly by faculty or by someone on a research team (e.g., a post-doc or graduate student). The first-year students work three hours a week per academic credit of Hon 290H, with a limit of six hours/two credits. In addition to their research, students take part in faculty-facilitated discussions at midterm. They may also apply for grants of up to $250 in support of their research activities. At the end of the semester, faculty assign an S/F grade for Hon 290.

We make every effort to match students and faculty on the basis of mutual interests and specified skills. Potential mentors register via a web-based system early in the fall term. Registration is followed by opportunities for both students and faculty to indicate preferences. The next steps are preliminary matches, interviews and – if all parties are in agreement – completion of a contract and the students’ registration. Work begins in the spring term.

If you are interested in participating in the First-Year Honors Mentor Program, please register by completing the form at this link. Dr. Svitlana Zbarska, Undergraduate Research program coordinator will coordinate all aspects of the First Year Honors Mentor program during the Fall 2017 – Spring 2018. Please contact her with any questions at 294-2064 or szbar@iastate.edu.

Register to Participate (site is open Aug 31- Sept 14)

Examples of Mentor Program Projects

Mentor Program Timetable:

  • September: Faculty register and describe their research
  • October: Students register and preference mentors; mentors review and preference students.
  • November: Students & faculty are matched (and sometimes re-matched) on mutual interests; students meet with prospective mentors; complete and submit contracts; register for HON 290 credit.
  • January: Students begin working with mentors.
  • March: Students meet for a midterm discussion group.
  • April: Projects completed; final evaluations completed.

Hear from Past Mentors and Students: