Champion Mentoring Program 


The CSU Champion Mentoring Program is the University’s “Cougar Commitment” to increase student enrollment, retention and ultimately graduation rates. Rise Scholars who demonstrate academic potential can apply to participate in a life-transforming mentor experience that supports college persistence, graduation and career readiness.

The CSU Champion Mentoring Program creates a platform where corporate philanthropy meets CSU Alumni and Rise Scholars to create a community that embraces experiential learning opportunities designed to support scholars in developing the necessary determination, knowledge, skills, abilities and networking competencies to achieve academic and career success. 

Champion (Mentor): Roles and Expectations

Champions will serve as a catalyst for the development of social capital, the foundation for strong networks of support and collaboration for Rise Scholars. Champions will serve as key boosters of scholars, supporting their personal and professional growth.

Each Champion/Scholar will be paired to maximize success and will be based on lived experiences, personal interests, professional goals of scholars and gender (if applicable). Mentors will be selected from some of Chicago’s most prestigious business and civic leaders. Wherever possible, the program will aim to identify alumni mentors. Mentors will share knowledge and experiences with scholars to support their development.

Active Champion Engagement will include:

  • Participation in experiential (monthly) learning events facilitated by CSU and Champion Mentor Program
  • Active and ongoing engagement with your scholars (at least once a month) to ensure continuity throughout the program
  • Lead breakout room discussions during the monthly meetings.

As Champion you will also be expected to share your lived experiences, and serve as a positive role model.