Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Aboriginal Mentor Program

Aboriginal Mentor Program
The Details

Aboriginal Education

Investment: $1,850,000
Endowment generating $37,000 per year.


Full support of one of the key Aboriginal support programs at TRU. The Aboriginal Mentor Program is designed to assist new Aboriginal students in all programs with a successful transition into TRU. Students are paired with Aboriginal mentors from the community and they receive professional advice, support and insight. Mentoring can happen in different forms (One-to-one, groups, events, workshops, etc.) based on student needs.


With this strong financial assistance support, the new TRU Aboriginal Mentor Program will be in a position to grow, develop and affect the lives of more and more students. The program is designed to provide first-generation Aboriginal students with support and comprehensive knowledge of university services and resources. Mentoring helps students with self-confidence, social skills and gives them tremendous knowledge of the University culture.

In a 2010 Canadian University Report survey, 40.6% of TRU students indicated that neither of their parents attended university. These first-generation (FG) students often have a different university experience from classmates whose parents attended university (often referred to as "continuing generation" or CG students). Compared to CG students, FG students are likely to enter university with less academic preparation, and to have limited access to information about the university experience, either first-hand or from relatives. They also face obstacles that include a lack of familiarity with university policies and procedures, academic expectations, and time and financial management. National studies in the U.S indicate that FG students are twice as likely as CG students to leave before their second year of study. Many Aboriginal students at TRU are FG students and have moved from remote communities to Kamloops to pursue their studies, finding themselves removed from support systems they developed earlier in their lives.

The anticipated long-term outcomes for participants in this program are not only the further development of a campus culture that is welcoming and supportive of Aboriginal first-generation students, but also an increased retention of Aboriginal first-generation students from year one to year two of their studies and an increased grade point averages for program students.

Aboriginal Mentor Program Expenses Costs
Mentor Coordinator $22,000
Mentor Honoraria $10,000
Workshop and Classroom Materials $1,000
Field Trips and Retreat $1,000
Annual review of Program; survey, focus groups and report writing $1,000
Travel and Accommodation for Guest Speakers $1,500
Mentor Jackets $500
Total $37,000