The P.A.L.S. mentor program provides support services to assist historically underrepresented students with a successful academic and social transition to Cornell College. P.A.L.S. stands for Prepare, Achieve, Lead, Succeed.

The purpose of this program is to assist the College in maintaining consistent student of color and international student enrollment with a focus on retention and graduation by providing students with a support system that is based on a one-on-one interactive relationship between new and returning students. Returning students in the P.A.L.S. program or “P.A.L.S. Mentors” are paired with new students to provide assistance, encouragement, practical experiences and insight they have gained while at Cornell College.

P.A.L.S. help new students by:

  • Mentoring self identified students of color, underrepresented students, 1st generation college students and international students
  • Assisting with retention by creating a support system away from home
  • Providing a friendly, nurturing environment to new students
  • Aiding new students with their transition to Cornell College culture, Mt Vernon and the Iowa Corridor area
  • Helping students get involved on campus
  • Building friendship and good rapport between new and returning students 
  • Providing academic and social support
  • Sharing best practices on time management and study skills on the block plan
  • Encouraging new students to have a voice on campus and be active in their college experience through leadership roles
  • Discussing cultural, diversity and inclusion issues
  • Addressing personal and interpersonal concerns

Programs and Services

We ask our participants to attend various activities and events the P.A.L.S. program and the Office of Intercultural Life sponsor throughout the school year such as tailgating parties, going out for bowling, private screenings at movie theaters, and study tables each month as well as other activities at our office. Mentors provide their mentees with insight into the academic workings of Cornell College, such as adjusting to the block plan, time management and study skills.