The Inside Scoop on the Inside Track

The Inside Track mentoring program at Henry Ford Community College is committed to helping those students who are entering college for the first time, or returning to school after a long absence, and the goal is to make the transition to college easier.

Since its beginning, the Inside Track has become a useful program with a high success rate. The program’s progressive growth can only be matched by its efficient organization, handled by its wonderful coordinators. However, as of this semester, Bia Hamed and Elizabeth Preston, who had done a tremendous job with the program since its launch, will now be welcoming new coordinators to the program.

Dr. Diane B. Green, the Associate Dean for Counseling, Assisted Learning Services, and Student Outreach & Support, will be taking over as head coordinator of the Inside Track. She said, “I joined the Counseling Division faculty ranks at HFCC in 1975 as a full time counselor. Over the years I have developed and coordinated several programs that were designed to support student success and retention (e.g., Project 50, Munger Teens, and the MOST mentoring programs).”

Dr. Green is a well-respected and honest counselor who holds a wonderful image in the HFCC community. She has done much to ensure the success of every student at Henry Ford, and makes herself available for most events or programs that will enrich and encourage the students.

Dr. Green will not be changing the program in any way. She feels that the old system has been working well, and sees no need to change what is already working.

“Bia Hamed and Beth Preston did a fabulous job in developing, launching and coordinating the program,” said Green. “The outcome data on the program for the past two years has been very positive. They selected outstanding young men and women to serve as mentors. These students are extremely skilled, highly motivated and exceptional individuals. They have done a tremendous job mentoring students (mentees) who have participated in the program.”

Dr. Green will not be going at it alone. There are two new supporting coordinators who will also be assisting the program: Diva Williams and Aimee Helling. They are both counselors at HFCC and eager to take up their new duties as co-coordinators for the program. With their existing support for students in the counseling office, Williams and Helling are ready and willing to take their new positions in the program. This way they have even closer contact with the students who really need support on campus.

With this team the program’s future seems promising.

Dr. Green stated that they want to move further with the program and “explore next-step possibilities on how to expand the program to provide mentoring services to a greater number of students.” They will examine practices that were implemented and successful at other two- and four-year college mentoring services, and try to use them at HFCC. However, they cannot do it alone.

Dr. Green says the Inside Track Program is looking for new mentors who will be able to take over for the current mentors, because most will be moving on to universities. They will be looking for individuals who:

• have a very solid academic record at HFCC;
• are well organized and highly motivated;
• enjoy their educational experience at HFCC and want to help other students have a positive experience;
• are approachable and work well with others;
• demonstrate an interest in serving as an Inside Track mentor

As a recent mentor, I am happy to say that this is probably one of the best jobs a person can have, mainly because it includes helping and supporting fellow peers and meeting new people, all at the same time. The Inside Track mentors are a close group of young adults who always give each other a hand when it comes to helping their mentees!