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Welcome to the Mentor Learning Center

January Class of 2019

Mentoring Relationship Check-In, Starting Strong 2nd Semester and Finding Community on Campus

Effective mentoring relationships have been characterized by reciprocity, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connections, and shared values. Take time this month to focus on setting clear expectations for how and when you will meet and communicate in this new year. Perhaps you haven’t discussed how you will connect and communicate this semester. Take this time to establish a set routine or schedule for when and how you will check-in and meet (virtually or in-person) over the next 4-5 months. Use the discussion prompts below to establish specific expectations for your mentoring relationship this semester.

Discussion Topic #1 -  Mentoring Relationship Check-In

With the beginning of a new year, this is a great opportunity for you to discuss how you will connect and communicate this semester. Pick up on your reflections from your December discussion and use this time to set expectations for how and when you will check-in and meet.

Mentors: Start by sharing your own candid reflections what you hope for in this new semester. Continue by discussing and establishing one goal for the relationship by the end of the school year. 

Share the following with your mentee: 

  • How do you feel about how the relationship has developed so far? Have your original expectations been met? Have they changed?

  • What has been the most memorable and helpful moment in your relationship so far?

  • What has worked so far in how and when you communicate and meet? What would you like to see changed? 

  • How often, when and how do you want to communicate and meet this semester?

  • What goal(s) do you have for the relationship by the end of the school year?

Mentees: Share your own reflections on your relationship and one goal you would like to set for the rest of the school year. 

  • How do you feel about how the relationship has developed so far? Have your original expectations been met? Have they changed?

  • What has been the most memorable and helpful moment in your relationship so far?

  • What has worked so far in how and when you communicate and meet? What would you like to see changed? 

  • How often, when and how do you want to communicate and meet this semester?

  • What goal(s) do you have for the relationship by the end of the school year?

  • How has the relationship you developed help you navigate college and explore career development opportunities?

  • What has been the most memorable and helpful moment in your relationship so far?

  • What goal(s) do you have for the relationship by the end of the school year?

Mentors: Close the discussion by reflecting on what has been shared. Remember to reach out to your program manager to request any immediate support needs.

Discussion Topic #2 Starting Strong 2nd Semester

As we explored in our December discussion guide, starting strong in second semester of college will help students stay on track towards completion of a successful first year. Mentors: If you haven’t yet, take time in this conversation to check-in on your mentees’ classes and identify specific actions that can help set them up for success. Using the discussion prompts below, make sure to identify the campus resources that your mentee should utilize during second semester. Finally, if applicable, remember to check-in with on progress towards submitting the FAFSA renewal application or required paperwork for other forms of financial aid.

Mentees: Take the lead by sharing your course registration and plans to be set up for success next semester.  Share the following with your mentor:

  • What classes are you registered for and how are you feeling about these classes?

  • Are there any classes that you are anxious about? If so, which ones and why?

  • What resources or people in your community (on and off campus) will help you be successful?

  • What specific student support services do you think will help you? What is your plan to take advantage of those services?  How can I support you in the process?

  • How about financial aid? Have you/are you working to submit your FAFSA renewal application or other paperwork for other sources of financial aid?

Mentors: As your mentee shares their plans, identify key insights and share your own experiences to support your mentee as they plan for a successful second semester.

Discussion Topic #3 - Finding Community on Campus

As you explored in our discussion guide in the fall, a great deal of research on first generation college students highlights the importance of social integration to student persistence in year one of college. Particularly, for students of color,  issues of racism  (institutional, implicit, and blatant acts of racism), can lead to feelings of loneliness, disengagement, and a belief in imposter syndrome- the notion that they don't belong in predominately white institutions of higher learning. To set themselves up for success, particularly in year one, students should explore engaging with at least one campus organization while also cultivating a group of supportive peers with similar goals. Use this time to revisit this topic now that the first semester has passed. 

Mentees Start by sharing thefollowing with your mentor:

  • This past semester, where on campus did you feel most comfortable on campus? Why? 

  • Do you feel like you've been able to establish a sense of belonging on campus? Why? Why not?

  • Have you explored any student organizations on campus? If not, are there any that you are interested in checking out?

  • What about establishing relationships with peers with goals similar to yours? Have you found any study or interest groups that you would like to explore?

  • Are there any goals you want to set to achieve before the end of the semester? What steps can you take to make sure you stay engaged on campus?

  • Are there ways that your mentor and/or program manager can support you?

Mentors:  close the discussion by reflecting on what has been shared. Share any additional suggestions for next steps, including accessing supports on campus. Remember to reach out to your program manager to request any immediate support needs.