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Learning Center.

Welcome to the Mentor Learning Center

January Class of 2019

Checking In: Your Mentoring Relationship, Starting Strong, and Finding Community

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

As we explored in our December discussion guide, starting strong in the spring will help students stay on track towards completion of their program. Mentors: If you haven’t yet, take time in this conversation to check-in on your mentees’ performance and satisfaction, and identify specific actions that can help set them up for success. Using the discussion prompts below, make sure to identify the resources that your mentee should utilize during the spring. Finally, if applicable, remember to check-in with on progress towards submitting required paperwork for all 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:

  • How are you feeling about your program as you enter into the new year?

  • Anything that you are anxious about? 

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

  • What specific 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?

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 spring term.

Discussion Topic #3-  Finding Community

Discussion Topic #3 – Finding Community 

As you explored together in the fall, having a sense of belonging can help one find success. To set themselves up for success, we encourage mentees to find and engage with like-minded peers in their program.  Cultivating community with a group of supportive peers with similar goals can help you find success. Use this time to revisit this topic as you enter a new year. 

Mentees Start by sharing the following with your mentor:

  • In the fall, did you find a support system in your program or at your workplace? Why? Why not?  

  • Do you feel like you've been able to establish a sense of belonging in your program/place of employment? Why? Why not?

  • Have you explored any organizations? 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 groups that you would like to explore?

  • Are there any goals you want to set to achieve in the next six months? What steps can you take to make sure you are set up for success?

  • 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. Remember to reach out to your program manager to request any immediate support needs.