What is my role in the Student-Mentor Partnership?
The senior project offers students the opportunity to take the skills and learning of their high school experience and apply them to real world situations. As a mentor you will provide the student you mentor with expertise, advice, a valuable contact, a sense of accountability, and the wisdom of your professional experiences. Most important of all, you will be making a positive, valuable contribution to a student’s life!
What sort of guidance will my mentee need?
This will vary from student to student and from project to project. In some cases students just need someone to brain storm with or to help organize and prioritize tasks. Others need a cheerleader or a designated reminder. Students must conduct a personal interview, and some will want to do job shadowing with you. It could be everything from a few emails and a few meetings to a weekly arrangement or even something resembling an internship.
What should I consider before I decide?
- Determine the focus and scope of the student’s proposed Senior Project.
- Understand how and why the student selected you as a potential mentor.
- Determine if you do – in fact – possess the knowledge and experience to successfully mentor this type of a project. It does not need to be a perfect match with your profession, but something you can help with.
- Assess the time required to successfully mentor this student and this particular Senior Project and determine if you have the time.
What happens once I agree to be a mentor?
- The student will schedule an initial meeting to review the details of his or her project.
- Work together to share expectations, goals, and meeting norms.
- Help your mentee establish and record a list of short-term and long-term goals for his or her project.
- Agree upon what specific resources and talents you, as a mentor, will be able to provide.
- Consider what additional resources are available at school, in the community, or with a colleague that can support the student’s senior project goals.
- Agree upon when, where and how often you will meet with your student.
- Determine a day, date and time when your student can interview you.
- Determine when and how your mentee can appropriately contact you. Exchange phone and/or e-mail contact numbers.
What does a mentor meeting look like?
- Assess your student’s progress and performance toward meeting project goals using their Senior Project reflections and timesheets.
- Re-evaluate and change (if necessary) his or her list of short-term and long-term goals.
- Discuss any problems or setbacks your student is experiencing
- “Troubleshoot” solutions or alternatives to these problems and setbacks.
- Evaluate your student’s interaction with you, and suggest ways that this interaction can improve.
What are my other Responsibilities?
Suggested but not required:
- Connect your mentee with other professionals in your field
- Advise your student how best to present his or her project on Senior Project Presentation Day.
- Conduct a “dress rehearsal” with your student to prepare for Senior Project Presentation Day.