It is probably more common than not that most faculty of color teaching at PWI's mentor students of color without it being a formalized process. These faculty members see the drive in these students but recognize the lack of adaptation skills needed to succeed at college. The academic setting can be described as a foreign place with a different language (academic) and expectations than high school. Now add the issue of being an African American student in attempting to navigate the complex nature of issues, and challenges, of the academic environment. One must require a new skill set including advanced study skills, socialization skills, research skills, and the ability to exploit networking contacts. Some of these skills may be foreign to many, particularly to first generation minority students. The psychosocial climate of a university setting has been found to have a tremendous effect on student perceptions and outcomes, especially those from culturally-diverse backgrounds (Shocket, 1985; Sodano & Baler, 1983). The necessity of having mentors assist in navigating this 'new' setting is an essential factor in assisting students succeed. The connection between African American faculty mentoring African American college students is a topic that needs to be addressed in an effort for college/universities to recognize best practices for retention and student satification. This paper will attempt to address formalized and informal mentoring and how these practices serve as beneficial skills learned and utilized for all involved. Concepts of African Americans socialization and mentoring as well as critical race theory will be utilized. Keywords: Mentoring, African American College Students, PWI.
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