Growth Mindset, Program Performance Check-In, Financial Aid and Transfer Support
With the fall semester in full-swing, now is the time to check-in on program participation and performance. Pairs should take time this month to talk about fixed vs growth mindsets, an important conversation about how students can think about and plan for performance in their program and/or employment. Finally, pairs should check in on financial aid and transfer support, if applicable.
Discussion Topic #1- Growth Mindset
Often times, students don't complete post-secondary pathways because the fear of failing pushes them to give up. This view is often referred to as a “fixed mindset”—a student's inability to think through solutions and problem solve challenges.
In order to develop strategies for overcoming challenges, take this time to read about and discuss fixed vs. growth mindset. Remember to discuss the importance of acknowledging and embracing one’s weaknesses, viewing challenges as opportunities, and cultivating a growth mindset.
Mentors: start by sharing examples of times where you displayed a fixed mindset and times where you displayed a growth mindset. Share the following with your mentee:
- In your example about fixed mindset, how did it feel and why do you believe you were unable to develop a growth mindset?
- What is your biggest lesson learned from this experience?
- What impact did the experience have on how you approached challenging situations?
- In your example about having a growth mindset, how did it feel and why do you believe you were able to see the challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow?
- As you reflect on these experiences, identifyand share a few of the insights that you gained and lessons you learned. Allow your mentee to ask any follow-up questions.
Mentees: start by sharing an example of a time where you displayed a fixed mindset and a time where you displayed a growth mindset. Share the following with your mentor:
- Why do you believe you had a fixed mindset?
- At any point, were you able to view the challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow? Why? Why not?
- Having reflected on these experiences, what are your biggest lessons learned?
- Based on these experiences, how might you approach future challenges differently?
An important and related topic is time management. If you didn't discuss this last month, take some time now to review and discuss two resources: Ways to Take Control of Your Time and how to improve your time management skills (includes a list of tips and tricks).
Discussion Topic #2 Participation and Performance Check-In
Mentees: take the lead by talking through your program requirements, schedule and performance, sharing how you are feeling about your program and/or employer so far. Next, 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 this semester? How can you capitalize on your strengths to perform even better academically this semester?
Mentors: close the discussion by reflectingon 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- Financial Aid and Transfer Support
Pairs should take this time to discuss financial aid, if applicable to the students' pathway and program. Mentor and mentees should discuss each applicable question below and discuss the right next steps to stay on track to maintain financial health this fall.
- Are you enrolled in a certification or training program? Do you know about the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) funds?
- If you don't know whether your program qualifies, start here.
- If you believe you are eligible but have not applied, spend this time doing research on the program website to identify the right office/people to follow up with. Set a plan and discuss how your mentor and/or program manager can serve as an accountability partner.
- If you are receiving any form of financial aid, what are the requirements you must meet to maintain eligibility?
- If unknown, spend this time doing research on the program website to identify the right people to follow up with.
- If known, review these requirements and discuss whether you are on track to maintain your eligibility. Set a plan for follow-up and discuss how your program advisor, mentor and program manager can support you.
- If you are receiving a taxable stipend, compensation, or education award but taxes are not taken out by the program, have you successfully managed to calculate the taxes you will have to pay? Have you been able to pay them? Do you need assistance?
- Do you need emergency financial support? Reach out to your PSP Program Manager about the iMentor Emergency Fund?
- Do you need to explore financial assistance options? (SNAP, TANF)
- What other concerns do you have related to finances?
- Are you considering applying to a two or four year college? Start by reviewing the resources below and establish 2-3 things you can do to start planning now.
Close the discussion by making a list of follow-up items for your next check-in. Remember to reach out directly to your Program Manager for support!