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Mentoring and Persistence to Success (MAPS)

professor mentoring a student


Mentoring and Persistence to Success provides comprehensive programs and holistic services designed to connect first generation and independent students with resources, empower them to achieve academic and personal goals, and guide them to graduation from Western Carolina University. 

The university experience can be a challenging one for all students. An experience resulting in graduation often requires a support network that can help students navigate their personal academic journey. At WCU, you'll find the support you need for your specific situation, whether you need skills coaching, academic advice, major or career exploration, or social and personal support.

Looking for the Academic Success Program (ASP) or Catamount Gap? Visit

Compass Coaching

Compass Coaching provides additional guidance and support for first-generation, low income, or independent students. Students are matched with an Academic Coach from the office who serves as a coach, mentor, and guide throughout their academic journey at WCU. The Academic Coach provides support for academic skills including study skills, time management, test prep strategies, and personal organization and other skills related to social, personal, and career goals. Coaching can be scheduled on a recurring basis throughout the semester or as needed based on the student's preference. 

To apply, visit the the Compass program page.

MAPS Peer Mentoring connects first-generation and independent students to a peer mentor who will help them navigate their first year at WCU. Peer mentors provide guidance related to academics, campus services, programs, and events. Students and mentors have regular contact over the course of their first semester (and beyond, if the student wishes). The mentor will also encourage the student's attendance and participation in First Gen/Independent activities and may attend some events with the student. Participating in a mentor relationship helps students to discover their strengths, develop their character, determine their focus, and discern their blind spots! For more information, contact MAPS at 828.227.7171 or

Junior and senior level students who are first-generation, low income, or independent are eligible for professional mentoring through MAPS! This program will match students with a faculty or staff member on campus to help prepare you for your transition to post-graduate plans. Students will prepare for life after college, increase networking opportunities, gain valuable information about their educational field, and build professional skills. For more information, contact MAPS at 828.227.7171 or

Student Organizations

In order to help our students develop community, the MAPS office supports two student organizations:

The First Gen Club
The First Gen Club helps build a community of students and supports the transition of first-generation students to WCU. The club hosts regular meetings, social events, and educational activities throughout the year in order to connect students with each other and provide information about resources and topics of interest. All first-generation students are welcome to join and attend! For more information, visit

Family/Student Supporter Information

We are committed to supporting our students as holistically as possible, including support via their family or support structure outside of the university! We keep a Family page updated with information for our students, with relevant information, tips, and resources! Please email with questions.


WCU has partnered with Baptist Children's Home to open HOMEBASE! HOMEBASE is used for RISA programming as well as other student outreach services. It is located next to campus just past Hunter Library. Please visit for more information!

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