Mentorship Program Resources: The National Mentoring Partnership’s fourth edition of Elements of Effective Practice for MentoringTM highlights six evidence-based standards that are intended to be applicable for any type of mentoring program. Supplemental guides are also available for specific target programs.

  1. Recruiting: This focuses on enlisting appropriate mentors and mentees by realistically describing the program’s objectives and expected outcomes. Recruitment strategies should build positive attitudes and emotions about mentoring, and target mentors and mentees whose skills, backgrounds and needs best match the goals and structure of the program.
  2. Screening: This focuses on screening prospective mentors to determine whether they have the time, commitment, and personal qualities to be a safe and effective mentor; and screening prospective mentees to determine if they have the time, commitment, and desire to be effectively mentored. Screening emphasizes keeping participants, especially young people, safe in mentoring relationships.
  3. Training: As an essential element for the success of a mentoring program, training ensures that prospective mentors, mentees, and their parents or guardians have the basic knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to build a safe and effective relationship.
  4. Matching and Initiating: Matching helps create appropriate mentoring relationships by using strategies most likely to increase the odds that the relationship will be safe and effective. This should consider individual characteristics about the mentor and mentee to foster an enduring relationship. Initiating is the step that formally establishes the mentoring relationship.
  5. Monitoring and Support: These are critical not only to create satisfying and successful mentoring relationships, but also to adjust to changing needs of the mentee and mentor and to ensure safety. Support ensures ongoing advice, problem-solving, training and access to resources for the duration of a mentoring relationship.
  6. Closure: Bring a mentoring relationship to a close in a way that affirms the contributions of both the mentor and the mentee. This is essential to ensuring the relationship ends with positive consequences for the mentee. Closure is a normal stage in a mentoring relationship and mentors and mentees should be able to prepare for this and assess their experience with the relationship.
  • Supplements to the Elements of Effective Practice for MentoringTM
    • The LGBTQ Supplement  responds to a long-standing call to extend the reach and quality of mentoring relationships to one of our nation’s most underserved, marginalized, and vulnerable populations- youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ). 
    • The STEM Supplement  provides additional research-informed recommendations for youth mentoring programs with a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics focus
    • E-mentoring elevates the unique intersection of mentoring and technology by providing mentees and mentors with a diverse field of programs that center availability and accessibility of platforms, eliminate geographic barriers for matches, encourage improvement of social and relationship skills, and offer specialized academic or career related support. MENTOR’s e-mentoring resource offers best practices for e-mentoring programs.
    • Workplace mentoring programs are increasingly using mentors to support both job-specific and soft-skill development like building relationships, practicing critical and creative thinking, decision making, giving and receiving feedback, and driving influence for young employees. MENTOR’s workplace mentoring resource is a how-to guide of best practices for workplace mentoring programs.
    • Group mentoring models have the power to reach as many youth as traditional one-on-one mentoring. Benefits include adult mentoring support, strengthens feelings of belonging and connection with peers, and creates an opportunity to build community in ways that meet an individual's needs.
    • New research highlights the effectiveness of neer-peer mentoring relationships in which older youth and young adults support children and pre-adolescent youth. These relationsihps are critical during periods of educational transition - particularly for entering high school or college. Mentors also benefit by improving leadership and communication skills.

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