Schools are implementing new mentoring models to support students’ social-emotional development and to address what been called a “mentoring gap,” according to Education Week.
Some schools recruit older students to mentor younger students and others ask students to identify an adult in their lives who could take on the role of a mentor.
The article cites recent findings from The National Mentoring Partnership, also known as MENTOR, which show that many mentoring programs have a hard time keeping mentors to stick with students for the full length of their programs.
According to MENTOR, young adults who have a mentor are less likely to skip a class or a day of school and are more likely to enroll in college and have better attitudes toward school. But there are specific elements that make some mentoring programs more successful than others. MENTOR in 2015 released the latest version of standards that can be applied in a variety of mentoring programs. Each program should have a recruitment process, screening, training, a matching and initiation period, a monitoring and support system, and a closure process.
The authors note, for example, that a mentoring program focusing on students’ transition into high school might want to pay particular attention to the training process so mentors understand the specific issues students might face. And those leading a group mentoring program focused on drop-out prevention program might want to emphasize the matching and initiation phase to make sure individual students still feel supported even in a group setting.
University partnerships can also be an important source of mentors for K-12 students, especially in departments where the college students benefit by having field experiences, such as in schools of education and social work.