HSA Mentorship at RPS

Eligibility requirements

Current VCU college freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in mentoring public school students. Applicants do not have a minimum GPA requirement but must enroll in the service-learning course required for the high school they will be working with.

Program description

HSA Mentorship at RPS is a full academic year with consecutive fall and spring semesters. HSA mentors at RPS enroll in a one-credit course in the fall and a two-credit VCU Service-Learning course taught during the spring. 

Fall 2021
PSYC 492/HPEX 491 – Orientation to Youth Mentoring
HSA JM & RCHS Mentor Fall 2018 Syllabus [PDF]

  • Semester Course, 1 lecture hour, 1 credit
  • Service-Learning experiences at Richmond Community and John Marshall High School, or Dental Scholars Program.
  • Fall 2021 meeting time: Fridays from 11 to 12:50 p.m.
  • For Fall 2021, classes will be offered in hybrid flex format giving students the option of attending in-person or sychronous virtual.

Promotes skill development to foster positive youth development by formulating approaches to build grit, curiosity and character in youth.  Curriculum will include best practices for ensuring youth safety, community partner orientation and engaging youth through activities-based learning.  Service activities involve the recruitment, mentoring and selection of students from Richmond Public Schools into VCU Health Sciences Academy, Career Exploration Program.

Spring 2022
PSYC 492/HPEX 491– Effective Mentoring Practice
HSA JM & RCHS Mentor Spring 2019 Syllabus [PDF]

  • 2 lecture hours, 2 credits
  • Service-Learning placements at Richmond Community and John Marshall High Schools
  • Spring 2022 meeting times: Thursdays* from 11:00 to 12:50 p.m. (John Marshall) and Wednesdays* from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. (Richmond Community High School).
    *Spring 2021 meeting times and class format TBA.

Mentoring strategies are applied toward working with youth in local Richmond High Schools to assist them in preparing for careers and college entrance.  Curriculum will include application of theoretical knowledge and reflective exercises to build mentoring skills and foster positive youth development.  Workshops will be created in teams to introduce high school students to effective techniques for time management, college and career selection and delivering effective presentations.  Course sections will be selected based on needs of partnering schools and the Dental Scholars career health sciences pipeline program.


Fall and spring semester: August 18, 2021 - May 8, 2022.


John Marshall High School or Richmond Community High School.

VCU Monroe Park and VCU Health Campus.

VCU School of Dentistry

Contact information

Dr. Seth Leibowitz at (804) 828-1761 or hsacademy@vcu.edu

Health Sciences Academy (HSA) Mentorship is an opportunity for VCU undergraduates to serve as mentors to high school students enrolled in the HSA health sciences exploration course.  HSA mentors have a significant impact on the high school students, helping them to navigate career options in the health professions.  

Mentorship training and skill development are supported by active participation in VCU Service-Learning classes.  Students enrolled in Psychology, Interdisciplinary Sciences, or the Kinesiology and Health Sciences major or minor programs can use the upper-level service-learning course to fill curriculum requirements.