Mentoring has always been a part of the Wake Forest experience; at its heart is the teacher-scholar ideal. Faculty, staff, alumni, and even students, provide great informal mentoring to Wake Forest students at all points of the college experience. Formal mentoring programs build upon these informal relationships and provide additional structure and oversight to ensure that effective mentoring is occurring for a targeted population.
General guidelines are provided here for the development of a formal mentoring program. Additionally, the staff of the Mentoring Resource Center is here to help any interested group or Program Coordinator in the development, implementation, and assessment of mentoring programs on the Wake Forest campus. And, once your mentoring program is established, we will feature it as a formal program on our website.
Planning a Mentoring Program
Planning a mentoring program is equally as important as the program itself and taking the necessary steps and investing the time now will ensure a successful program in the future. Do not rush the process. Start small and develop early successes.
Do you want to learn more about developing a mentoring program? Check out our Mentoring Program Coordinator Toolkit.
Things you should think about as you plan your mentoring program:
- Program Goals – Have clearly-defined goals for your mentoring program: What, specifically, are you trying to achieve? How will your participants benefit as a result of participating in this program? What strategic needs does it meet? Is mentoring the right strategy to meet those needs?
- Program Design – There are many factors to consider in the design of your program, including the budget, the timeline from recruitment to evaluation, communication, expectations, and overall management of the program.
- Recruitment – How many mentors and mentees will you need? Where you will find them? How you will recruit them to participate? How will you match mentoring pairs?
- Training – Provide, at a minimum, orientation training for both mentors and mentees to introduce them to the expectations of your mentoring program and effective mentoring practices.
- Feedback – How and when will you check in with your mentor pairs to assess progress? How can you provide ongoing support to both mentors and mentees? Gathering feedback helps to maintain open communication with your participants and to make needed changes to improve the program over time.
- Celebration and Closure – Do not ignore the importance of recognizing the end of your mentoring program. Develop an event to celebrate accomplishments, thank your mentor pairs, and formally close the program.