The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Program offers students mentorship for their future


campus editor

TCC’s Intercultural Network is a support system available district-wide for students. 

Jaime Martinez, TR academic adviser for the Intercultural Network, works alongside coordinator Dantrayl Smith to help students get the skills they need to graduate college. 

Social and emotional support is one of their five pillars, matched with the use of a one on-one partnership with a faculty or staff mentor, Martinez said. The others include career competency, leadership skills and personal growth. 

The last pillar, academic support, offers tutoring as well as partnerships with the campus’ Transfer Center, giving students opportunities to attend leadership conferences, Martinez said.

To support the social needs of her students, NE coordinator Marjeanna Burge and her team hold weekly meetings that foster discussion and target specific majors.

These include special sessions for students of color in the field of computer science and student-led sessions on career or education tips. 

Something Burge wants to expand on with the department is awareness of cultural diversity.

“Students have expressed how much they loved the program we provided for Native American heritage month, where a group of different individuals shared information from the Caddo Nation community,” Burge said. “I’m Comanche so my desire is that we can replicate something like this one without it being only in November.”

Having been a non-traditional student as a single mother when starting college, she deeply understands the challenges individuals face who lack the resources they need. 

“I love the ability to not only be creating and providing services in support of our diverse student body but also being an advocate for all students that may not have all the answers, knowledge and connections they need to accomplish the goals they set,” Burge said. 

Before the pandemic, students could meet in a designated safe space that helped them interact with one another.

This semester, fellowship continues through the use of programs such as the Men of Color Collaborative as well as one for the ladies called Caring Open Mentoring Program Advancing Student Success. New to the TR department is the Social Justice Student Ambassadors, a year-long program for students to learn about leadership and openly discuss topics on race and equity.

Michael Russ, South coordinator, hosts a weekly empowerment workshop at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays called ELEVATE that brings students together to focus on self-efficacy and self-confidence while working towards their academic goals.

“ELEVATE has become very popular with our students and we all look forward to Tuesdays,” Russ said. “I admit, it is a little different virtually, however, it has become a staple of our program and it’s always great to see our students connecting.”

At the Intercultural Network, Russ and his team tailor their services to the support each student is looking for.

Like Russ, SE coordinator Larry Jefferson uses specialized workshops to support his students’ academic development. 

“Providing workshops on financial literacy, career assessment, mental health and social development has really helped add value to programming efforts,” Jefferson said. 

Additionally, Jefferson and his team have checked on students through the pandemic by doing bi-weekly calls to identify their needs.

“For me, advocating and cheering students on while they travel the road to success is one of life’s best gifts,” Jefferson said. 

Students can connect with their campus’ Intercultural Network by enrolling in the department page located under the organizations tab on Blackboard, following their Instagram page or contacting their designated coordinator. 


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