Magazine article Techniques

Elements of an Effective Mentoring Program

Magazine article Techniques

Elements of an Effective Mentoring Program

Article excerpt

THERE ARE CERTAIN ELEMENTS COMMON AMONG EFFECTIVE MENTORING PROGRAMS. KNOWING THEM WILL HELP YOU DEVELOP YOUR OWN MENTORING PROGRAM.

MENTOR, an organization that serves as a resource and advocate for youth mentoring, developed its first mentoring Elements of Effective Practice in 1990 by working with a national panel of mentoring experts.

"They are research- and experience-based guidelines for the operation of safe and effective mentoring programs," says Kristi Zappie-Ferradino, vice president of products and services for MENTOR.

A revised and updated version was released in 2003 with new ideas and practices added.

MENTOR divides its guidelines into four sections:

* program design and planning

* program management

* program operations

* program evaluation

Program Design and Planning

Any effective program begins with a good design, and these are the steps to take in building that design:

* Define the population that the program will serve.

* Identify the types of individuals who will be recruited as mentors (such as, senior citizens, corporate employees and college students).

* Determine the type of mentoring that the program will offer-one-to-one, group, team, peer or e-mentoring.

* Structure the mentoring program-as a stand-alone program or as part of an existing organization.

* Define the nature of the mentoring sessions (such as, career involvement, academic support or socialization).

* Determine what the program will accomplish and what outcomes will result for the participants, including mentors, mentees and sponsoring organizations.

* Determine when the mentoring will take place.

* Determine how often mentors and mentees will meet and how long the mentoring matches should endure.

* Decide where mentoring matches primarily will meet-workplace, school, faith-based organization, juvenile corrections facility, community setting or virtual community.

* Decide who are program stakeholders and how to promote the program.

* Decide how to evaluate program success.

* Establish case management protocol to assure that the program has regular contact with both mentors and mentees concerning their relationship.

Program Management

In addition to designing the program, a plan must be established for managing it. The steps for this are:

* Select the management advisory team.

* Develop a financial plan. …

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