Consumer Behavior

University Student Mentors: Serving Populations in Transition to College

  • Diana Saiki (Ball State University)
  • Jay Kandiah (Ball State University)
  • Kara Tripp (Ball State University)
  • Val J Birk (Ball State University)


The purpose of this teaching strategy was to utilize problem-based learning in a fashion merchandising/apparel design course by requiring students to mentor under-served high school students in transitioning to college. The premise of the high school program was to motivate underrepresented groups in: 1) using fashion as a catalyst to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields and 2) empowering participants with healthy lifestyle strategies to improve their quality of life during the transitional phase after high school into college. After conducting the program three times, results demonstrated the program met the needs of under-served populations by helping young adults 1) reconfirm interest in STEM, 2) pursing a college degree; and 3) improving knowledge on healthy lifestyle practices. Furthermore, the program immersed university students enrolled in an apparel and textiles course in an active, problem-based learning opportunity. It was a positive learning experience for all involved.

Keywords: STEM, Problem-Based Learning, Community Engagement

How to Cite:

Saiki, D. & Kandiah, J. & Tripp, K. & Birk, V. J., (2019) “University Student Mentors: Serving Populations in Transition to College”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 76(1). doi:

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Published on
15 Dec 2019