Mentoring is an essential part of life. It helps us learn, grow, and develop throughout our lives.
Whether it’s a mentor within your family or someone outside of your family, mentorship is key.
People often think of mentors as being old people who give advice to younger people. However, there are plenty of ways to become a mentor.
A good mentor will help you learn what makes them tick and helps them succeed in their academic endeavors.
It is important for mentors to understand that they are not only teaching, but also learning from their mentees. They should remember that the goal of mentoring is to achieve student success.
To be a potential mentors you must have development goals and other program goals for your students. You need to know how to motivate your students so that they can reach these goals.
You may want to consider becoming a mentor because:
- You enjoy helping others.
- Your friends ask you about this opportunity.
- You feel like you could use some guidance yourself.
- You would like to make a difference in another person’s life.
- You believe that education is one way to improve society.
What is a mentoring program?
Mentorships have been around since ancient times. The word “mentor” comes from the Greek language meaning “to walk along side.”
Today, mentoring has evolved in terms of its definition and purpose. It’s no longer limited to an older person teaching younger people about life lessons.
Instead, it refers to anyone who provides support, advice, feedback, coaching, training, or other resources to help someone else grow professionally.
College student mentor are usually between 18-25 years old. Mentors typically work with high school students on topics such as academics, career planning, personal growth, leadership skills, etc.
The benefits of having a mentor include:
- Increased motivation
Having a excellent mentors can increase your chances of getting into graduate schools.
A study by the University of Michigan found that students who had a strong relationship with their undergraduate advisor were more likely to get accepted into top universities than those without advisors.
- Improved self confidence
Mentor relationship can boost your self esteem. A study conducted at Harvard Business School showed that when students felt supported by their professors, they performed better academically.
Students who receive positive reinforcement from teachers tend to do well in class. This means that if you’re struggling in a course, talk to your teacher about it.
If he/she doesn’t offer any suggestions, then seek out a different professor.
- Enhanced social skills
Having high quality mentors in school can help you build relationships with peers. Having a close friend can provide emotional support during tough times.
However, having a mentor can enhance your ability to interact socially.
When you meet new people, you’ll find that most people don’t really care much about your background unless you tell them something interesting about yourself.
This is where having a mentor becomes beneficial. Your mentor can introduce you to new people and teach you how to network effectively.
- Better grades
Having a mentor can teach you study skills and can help you make better grades.
For example, if you struggle with time management, your mentor will probably suggest ways to organize your schedule. He/She might also give you tips on how to manage stress while studying.
In addition, having a mentor can help you develop problem solving skills. If you ever encounter problems in school, your mentor can guide you through the process of finding solutions.
How do I get started?
There are many different types of programs available to assist you in finding a mentor. Some schools offer formal mentoring programs while others allow informal relationships to form naturally.
Some college-age mentor organizations have been established specifically for this purpose.
For instance, The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators offers a program called “Student Leadership Development” which helps young adults become leaders within their communities.
Another organization called “Mentoring Resource Centers” focuses on helping youth gain experience working with nonprofit agencies.
They even hold conferences around the country so that participants can learn best practices from each other.
Mentoring programs train mentors as well. They usually require applicants to complete an application before being considered for positions.
The applications ask questions such as: What type of student would benefit from your guidance? How often should we contact one another? Do you have previous work or volunteer experiences?
Once you’ve completed the application, you may need to submit references to prove that you’re qualified to serve as a mentor.
You must also pass a criminal records check and drug test.
Design your formal mentorship program
Formal mentorship program can take place at either the university level or the community level. At the university level, there’s no shortage of opportunities.
Many universities now offer courses designed specifically to prepare future educators. These classes focus on teaching effective communication techniques, leadership development, career planning, etc.
These courses are great places to start looking for potential mentors. You could also look into local colleges and universities.
Most professors are willing to share advice and knowledge with younger colleagues.
- Define your purpose & vision
Mentorships should always serve a specific purpose. The first step in designing a mentoring program is defining its purpose.
What do you want it to achieve? Why would someone choose this over other options available at their workplace? How will it benefit employees and/or the company?
This may sound obvious, but if you’re unsure about what kind of mentoring program you need, start here!
- Impact mentor participation
Mentor involvement and mentor orientation meeting are two important aspects of any mentoring program.
These meetings provide opportunities for both parties to discuss expectations and goals. It’s also a chance for mentors to share information they learned during training sessions.
If possible, try to arrange these meetings after hours when there aren’t too many distractions. This way, everyone has more time to focus on the discussion.
Make sure all members understand the rules of engagement.
- Mentor training programs
Training to mentors are essential because they’ll play a key role in developing effective mentoring relationships.
Most colleges and universities offer some sort of training program. These courses cover topics like communication techniques, conflict resolution strategies, career development planning, etc.
It’s recommended that mentors attend these classes prior to beginning their relationship with a new employee.
However, not every employer requires that mentors take additional training. In fact, most employers don’t expect them to receive special training unless requested by the mentee.
- Time commitment in meeting times
Time commitment are one of the biggest challenges faced by mentors is finding enough free time to meet regularly with their mentees.
In order to make things easier, consider scheduling regular meetings outside normal business hours. If necessary, set up recurring appointments through email reminders.
Also, keep in mind that mentoring isn’t just limited to face-to-face interactions. You could use phone calls, video chats, text messages, social media platforms, etc.
- Mentor pairs
Successful mentor matching can help ensure that each member receives adequate support throughout his or her tenure.
To find suitable matches, look into organizations that specialize in finding mentors for young professionals. Some companies even match mentors based on personality traits.
For example, if you know that your mentees tend to get nervous around authority figures, then you might pair them with people who exude confidence.
Be careful though; don’t force your mentees to accept anyone.
- Mentor recruitment
Additional mentors members can add to an existing group. However, recruitments must be carefully planned so as not to disrupt current dynamics within the team.
You can either ask colleagues directly or search online job boards for potential candidates.
Once you’ve identified qualified individuals, reach out via email and introduce yourself. Explain why you think they’d be a great fit for the position.
Ask questions such as: What motivates them? Do they have experience working with younger adults? Are they willing to commit to weekly meetings?
- References for mentors
When it comes to recruiting mentors, references from previous employees is one of the best ways to gauge someone’s character.
This includes former coworkers, supervisors, managers, professors, etc. Ask those individuals about how well suited this person would be for the position.
Don’t forget to include details regarding the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, did he or she excel at problem solving? Or was he/she known for being overly critical?
- Build strategic goals
As mentioned earlier, successful mentorship programs should focus on building long term relationships between mentors and mentees.
Therefore, setting clear objectives will help both parties achieve success.
Some examples of possible goals include:
• Helping mentees develop professional skills
• Providing guidance when needed
• Promoting personal growth
• Improving work performance
• Increasing productivity
• Developing leadership abilities
• Building self esteem
• Creating positive workplace culture
• Reducing stress levels
- Short-term goals
Strategic goals can also serve as short-term benchmarks. They’re helpful because they provide specific targets to aim for during the first few months of the program.
- Collaborative goal-setting skills
If you want to create a productive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas, then collaborative goal-setting may prove beneficial.
The process involves asking participants to write down their own individual goals. Then, discuss these together until all agree upon common ones.
Afterwards, assign tasks related to achieving these goals. This way, every participant has something concrete to do while still feeling involved.
- Skill development training for mentors
In addition to providing mentoring opportunities, some employers offer skill development training for new hires.
These courses are designed to improve communication, teamwork, time management, conflict resolution, decision making, etc.
They’re especially useful for older workers looking to transition into more senior positions.
However, make sure that any course taught by external instructors is accredited by a recognized organization like The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Who benefits from mentoring programs?
Mentors are important because they provide support that can make all the difference between success or failure. They offer guidance, encouragement, and inspiration.
A successful relationship requires trust, respect, understanding, and commitment. These qualities are essential ingredients in any healthy adult/child relationship.
When these elements exist, children learn more effectively, feel better about themselves, develop self-confidence, become responsible adults, and succeed academically.
Research shows that mentors play an especially critical role in helping low-income minority youths.
Students can have good progress in school performance if they receive adequate academic assistance. However, many students don’t get this kind of help due to lack of access to quality tutors.
This is why it’s so crucial to establish effective mentoring programs. Mentor programs benefit not only those who participate but also society as a whole.
For example, research suggests that high performing schools tend to have higher graduation rates than lower performing schools.
One reason behind this phenomenon is that students at high performing schools often have access to excellent teachers and other resources such as libraries, counseling centers, and afterschool activities.
Another factor contributing to student achievement is peer relationships. Students with strong social networks perform much better on standardized tests than peers without them.
Therefore, establishing effective mentorship programs will go a long way towards improving educational outcomes.
Mentoring is a powerful tool that helps people achieve personal growth and professional fulfillment.
It’s proven to boost productivity, increase job satisfaction, and enhance overall well being.
It’s no wonder that companies across industries are investing heavily in developing mentoring programs.
A Wife, a mum and a Tutor! I am the Lead Editor at TheTutor.Link & also the Head Tutor there. I love teaching seeing young minds flourish. I also love blogging and sharing my experience on the world wide web.