The Black Student Mentorship Program (BSMP) was established in 2020 to create community among Black students and faculty at McMaster.
The program’s core objectives include improving Black student academic performance, strengthening awareness of resources, creating a safe space for relationship building among peers and faculty, and fostering a sense of belonging within the wider McMaster community.
BSMP is an initiative developed by the African Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster (ACFAM) designed as a four-tiered system; professors mentor graduate students, graduate students mentor upper-year undergraduate students, and upper-year undergraduate students mentor first-year undergraduate students. BSMP matches first-year and upper-year undergraduate students based on interests and background and the other tiers based on academic background. All our mentors will use their experiences to help their mentees navigate academia as Black students.
BSMP’s educational priority is to mentor each student using their lived, academic and professional experience to increase their sense of belonging, confidence, self-esteem and social capital. We offer mentorship opportunities to students of all identities across all faculties:
Peer Mentoring: 1st-year students are matched with upper-year students either in the same program or with similar interests supporting their transition into the first year.
Upper year students are matched with graduate-level students either in the same program or similar interests supporting their advancement in the academy.
Faculty Mentoring: Through members of the African Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster (ACFAM) and their vast network, graduate students are mentored by Black faculty members. Graduate-level students are matched with a Black faculty member. Our faculty partners provide guidance, coaching, and encouragement progressing towards their academic, professional and personal goals.
New in 2021/22: Staff Mentoring: Students of all levels can request to be matched with a Black McMaster staff member.