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Colleges Urged to Take Advising of Underrepresented Students to Deeper Level

In order to help underrepresented students thrive in college, faculty and administrators must go beyond advising and instead teach students to master the “hidden curriculum” at their respective institutions.

That is the argument that University of St. Thomas faculty mentoring consultant Buffy Smith made during a recent talk about helping low-income, minority and first-generation college students adjust to the cultural shifts that await them in the world of higher education.

“When we look at mentoring and how it’s done on most campuses, we find that we do a very good job at advising,” said Smith, author of “Mentoring At-Risk Students through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education.”