Normalizing Challenges, Deep-Dive Participation/Performance Check-In and Accessing Support
It is worth restating our belief that when pairs stay together after high school, mentees have an even stronger chance of starting and persisting in an alternative pathway. During your monthly meeting, use the prompts below to focus on participation, performance, and other potential persistence challenges. By doing so, we believe you will continue to strengthen your mentoring relationship while identifying ways to be proactive and use program managers and mentors to support student success.
Discussion Topic #1 - Normalizing Challenges
With the start of a new semester/term students may be experiencing new challenges. Whether it is a new class, task, and/or work schedule, you most likely will struggle. To help normalize struggles and allow students to reflect, mentors will take the lead and share their academic successes and challenges during their first year in college. By sharing lessons learned, mentors can help students avoid pitfalls and be proactive about addressing challenges.
Mentors: take the lead by sharing your experiences with academics during your first year of college. Share your responses to the prompts below:
- What were your most challenging classes and why?
- How did you address those challenges?
- If you could re-take those courses, what would you do differently?
- Did you take advantage of support on campus? Why or Why not?
- We sometimes need reminders about advice or tips. What advice would you give your mentee to help them be successful academically?
Mentees: share any reflections you have about what your mentor shared. Although you may not be enrolled in college, there may be ways of addressing challenges that can apply to your situation as well. Ask your mentor questions specific to your existing or potential challenges with your program or employer. Transition to the next topic by preparing to talk through your performance and progress so far.
Discussion Topic #2 Participation and Performance Deep Dive
Mentees: take the lead by talking through your program requirements, schedule and performance. Use the prompts below to discuss how you will best prepare (and access people and resources) to perform at your best.
- What is the most challenging aspect of your program so far?
- Have you started to address these challenges?
- Do you feel that you have successfully engaged in a growth mindset when thinking about these challenges?
- Have been on time and ready to participate / work / train every day? Have you had any absences? If so, why?
- Have you been able to follow all the policies and procedures at your program? If not, what haven’t you been able to do? Why?
- Have you had any tests, projects, or performance evaluations? How have those been going?
- Have you received feedback from your superior / advisor / manager?
- What are some of your achievements so far ? How can you capitalize on your strengths to perform even better ?
Mentors: close the discussion by reflecting on what has been shared. Share any additional suggestions for next steps and remember to update your program manager or any immediate support needs.
Discussion Topic #3 - Identifying Challenges, Accessing Support
Accessing support is critical to your success. Use the prompts below to discuss any support needs. Remember to utilize the program/company website to research and identify potential sources of support. Don't forget that your Program Manager can help as well!
Mentors: use the prompts below to guide this discussion.
- Has anything changed in your personal life that would affect your attendance / performance once on campus? (Housing, transportation, dependent care, etc.). What type of support would be helpful?
- Have you met recently with your advisor or supervisor?
- Are you clear about what you need to do to be successful or how you are being evaluated?
- Are you enrolling in any support or opportunity programs through your program, employer, or in the community?
- Do you need to explore scholarships or other forms of financial assistance (including iMentor Emergency Fund)?
Close the discussion by working together to make a list of follow-up items for your next check-in. Remember to reach out directly to your Program Manager for support and to share any important updates.