Connect the Dots Program for First-Generation College Students

Connecting first-generation students with Suffolk University employees to provide support, mentorship, and build community.

Program Goals

In an effort to support the University’s mission and the Suffolk 2025 Strategic Plan initiative to increase programming to support students from historically underrepresented groups, the Division of Student Success leads the Connect the Dots program, which focuses on pairing first-generation college students with university staff or faculty (mentors). The mentors serve as a resource helping students navigate university life.

Program Expectations

  • Mentors and students meet at least once a month either in one-on-one meetings via Zoom, phone, or on-campus in a socially-distanced space (COVID guidelines permitting) as well as in larger group meetings with other program participants at virtual and/or on-campus events (university-sponsored workshops, lectures, etc.)
  • Students and mentors will engage in meaningful conversations, covering topics like:
    • What are your interests (personal, academic, and professional), and what steps can you take to pursue those interests?
    • Getting to know your Suffolk community and resources
    • Articulate your goals and plan ahead
    • Learning how to communicate with your support team, which could include academic advisors, professors, and more 

Program Events

Throughout the academic year, programming takes place to target specific needs and engage students in meaningful dialogue. We host programs that include:

  • Kick-Off and End-of-Semester events during the fall and spring semesters
  • Workshops on financial literacy, academic planning, major/career exploration, time management, study skills/test prep, and internship opportunities
  • First Gen Celebration Week—a week-long series of events in early November to celebrate First Gen Day
  • Events offered in collaboration with various offices on campus, such as the Division of Student Success (DSS), Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion (CSDI), Center for Academic Access & Opportunity (CAAO), Financial Aid, and Center for Career Education & Professional Studies

Interested in joining Connect the Dots?

If you are a first-generation student and would like to be paired with a mentor, please complete this form.

If you are a University employee (staff or faculty) and would like to become a mentor, please complete this form.