Mentorship Program: The mentoring program provides a support network for the first year genetic counseling students. Each first year student is paired with a second year student, and they are encouraged to meet regularly throughout the first semester and to continue the relationship throughout the year. The second year students provide peer insights into how to successfully traverse the challenges that new graduate students. Their unique first-hand experiences are invaluable to the first year students.
Academic Advisor Program: In order to optimize the communication between graduate students and faculty, students in the UTGCP are matched with an academic advisor who will aid them throughout their time in the program. The academic advisors are members of the genetic counseling program faculty. The objectives of this program are to open lines of communication between students and supervisors, provide the student with a person with whom they can discuss problems, supervisory concerns, academic questions etc., aid in professional development, guide students with decision making. While the Program Directors have an open door policy and regularly meet with students, the Academic Advisor provides another faculty touch point for students.
Support for Underrepresented Minority Students: In recognition of the unique needs of students who identify with an underrepresented group in genetic counseling, the UTGCP piloted a program in 2020 to match URM students with an additional faculty mentor who identifies as being from a similar underrepresented background. The UTGCP plans to expand and enhance this program moving forward.
Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
UTGCP’s JEDI mission is to graduate a student body that consistently includes underrepresented groups in genetic counseling, to nurture and grow an inclusive environment for all genetic counselors, to actively make the profession of genetic counseling accessible and equitable to all interested students and to continue learning from our mistakes to ensure this commitment.