FastStart mentoring program recognized as one of nation's best

August 27, 2004

University Park, Pa. -- FastStart, a mentoring program for first-year students of color at Penn State, has been recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as one of the top alumni relations programs in the country.

FastStart was awarded a silver medal in the volunteer engagement and leadership category. The award was part of the CASE 2004 Circle of Excellence Awards Program that attracted more than 3,100 entries in 40 categories.

Sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association and the Division of Student Affairs, FastStart is a diversity program that creates a mentoring triad between a student, Penn State alum, and faculty or staff member. The program has experienced a nearly-300-percent increase in its participation numbers since its inception in 1996. More than 800 students have participated in FastStart, and the program's 89 percent graduation and retention rate is consistently higher than the University Park average for students of color.

While the program is designed to assist underrepresented students, it is open to all students new to University Park wishing to take advantage of the mentoring triad, and all interested faculty, staff, and alumni are encouraged to register as mentors.

For more information or to volunteer as a mentor with the FastStart program, please visit the Alumni Association's Web site at or contact the FastStart office at 814-863-6386. Applications are also available at the FastStart office located at 17 HUB- Robeson Center .

Headquartered in Washington , D.C. , CASE is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications, and development. With a membership that includes more than 3,000 colleges, universities, and independent elementary and secondary schools in the United States, Mexico, Canada and 42 other countries, CASE is the world's largest nonprofit education association.

Founded in 1870, the Penn State Alumni Association is committed to a mission of connecting alumni to the University and to each other; providing valued services to members; and supporting the University's mission of teaching, research, and service.

For more information, or to join America 's largest dues-paying alumni association, visit or call 800-548-5466.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009