In 2006, the Division of Multicultural Affairs was awarded funding by the State of Michigan Workforce Development Agency's King-Chávez-Parks Initiative. The Select Student Support Services, or 4S, competitive grant provides seed money to Michigan's four-year public and private colleges and universities to improve retention and increase the graduation rates of underserved students. The five-year grant cycle ran from October 2006 to September 2011. After successful completion of the first grant cycle, the department submitted another grant proposal and was awarded a continuation six-year grant. The current grant cycle runs from October 2011 to September 2017.
The program began as the Steps Toward Exhibiting Mastery Program in March 2007. Due to a late start, the program only served a total of 20 participants and employed only five peer mentors during the first academic year. The following academic year, the program served a total of 280 participants and employed over 20 peer mentors and two program assistants. The program really took off from then on, gaining visibility through word-of-mouth referrals from students, professors, and administrators across campus.
Over the course of the program, we came to the conclusion that we needed a new program name that better fit what we did and who we served. After years of discussion with program staff and soliciting feedback from our participants and program partners, we decided to change our program name to the Mentoring for Success Program in May 2014, with the change officially implemented starting the fall 2014 semester.