SMART Scholars Program

Welcome to Valparaiso University!  As a new student, I am sure that you are looking forward to your move onto our campus this Fall.  The first semester is often difficult for some students in terms of dealing with the academic rigors of VU, adjusting to student life, and and being away from home for the first time. Rest assured that we at VU are here to help make your academic and student life transition to campus smooth and successful.


One program at VU that helps in this area is the S.M.A.R.T. Connections Peer Mentoring Program (Student Mentoring And Retention Team). This program consists of a ‘select’ group of VU students chosen to be S.M.A.R.T. Connections Team Leaders and Peer Mentors to new, incoming students. Peer Mentors are trained to work with their student mentee(s) throughout the year and serve as a guide. Mentoring has been proven to benefit students in that it provides them with:

  • A reliable contact person on campus;
  • Academic support and guidance;
  • Information about campus resources;
  • Offers on-going assistance, support, and friendship;
  • Assistance with campus life issues.

The S.M.A.R.T. Connections Peer Mentors who participate in this program come from diverse backgrounds, but usually share the same initial feelings and concerns about the transition to college and a new environment as new students do.  Hence, they serve as an important resource for support and assistance during your transition.

I strongly encourage you to apply to be part of this ‘unique’ and outstanding program.  The friendships you make and the activities you participate in will enhance the quality of your academic and campus life experience at VU!


Samuel Payan, M.Ed.
Program Coordinator
Office of Multicultural Progams


Join S.M.A.R.T. Connections Peer Mentoring Program APPLY TODAY!

ONLINE Applications:

SMART Connections MENTEE Application - ONLINE

SMART Connections MENTOR Application - ONLINE


Downloadable Applications: (Turn in completed forms to the Office of Multicultural programs or email it to

SMART Connections Mentee Application

SMART Connections Mentor Application



For more information please download the following brochure.

SMART Connections Brochure