Frequently Asked Questions - Pathways Mentoring Program
What is an Academic Mentor?
NEC’s Mentoring program is staffed with professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Mentors have degrees (most have completed Master’s degrees) in areas such as Human Development, Counseling, Education, and Social Work. Most have an academic background focused on understanding college-aged students.
Mentors know NEC resources and curriculum. Mentors work hard to develop strong, positive relationships with their student to best understand their strengths and challenges. Though the support provided to each student is individualized, Mentors typically focus on the student transition to college, strengthening time management, organization and study skills strategies. Additionally, Mentors reach out to faculty and inform parents of their progress.
Mentors are not clinicians and work in collaboration with individuals from the Wellness Center and Disability Services. Mentors actively refer students to these offices. Students are able to choose if they wish to utilize these resources and must sign a release in order for Wellness to even disclose to a Mentor that a student has been seen.
How many students are enrolled in the Mentoring Program?
Mentoring has worked with over 400 students since it began in 2003. Approximately 80 students are enrolled in the program, of which half are students new to NEC.
What does my student do in Mentoring?
Mentors generally spend a portion of the appointment checking in with the student on a range of areas such as residence hall life, community involvement, social engagement, health and wellness. The majority of the time spent with the Mentor involves academic support including progress on pending coursework.
What are the expectations of students enrolled in Mentoring?
Students come to Mentoring with differing experiences in and outside of school. Some are very excited to participate in the program and others are more apprehensive and reluctant. Regardless of a student’s initial thoughts, Mentors work to develop positive relationships with students, who come to see the Mentor as a resource and support.
In order for the Mentoring program to be successful, students must be active and engaged participants. Students need to attend meetings, communicate honestly with their Mentor, and take action to problem solve issues that may impact their academic success. Students also must be committed to attend each scheduled meeting and be prepared to work on class assignments.
When can I expect to hear from my student’s Mentor?
Mentors encourage communication between students and parents. When working with students, Mentors will give time for students to share information, allowing our communication with parents to close the communication loop. Typically communication is focused around the times students receive academic indicators from the college (Week 6 and 9), plus e-mail introductions and semester wrap-up towards the end of the term. Mentors will also inform parents if a student is identified by the institution for not attending classes during Week 2-4 of the term.
In addition to these times of the term, Mentors will communicate with parents if students have not attended Mentoring appointments or responded to outreach for a week. In collaboration with the parent and Director of Mentoring, an outreach and communication plan would be developed and implemented.
Communication from a Mentor is typically done through e-mail. Please make sure you student’s Mentor has an up to date e-mail address for you. Feel free to contact your student’s Mentor with any questions. Mentors will normally return calls/e-mails within 1 business day.
What information do Mentors share with Parents?
Mentors build relationships with students, encouraging not only academic success but healthy living and active engagement in the NEC community. As students get to know and trust their Mentor, they may share information about issues outside of academics. Mentors engage with students to problem solve challenges and refer students to a variety of resources and supports. This includes conversations with family. However, Mentors focus their communication on a student’s academic performance. Should significant personal issues arise, the Wellness Center is consulted and additional communication on issues would come from them.
When do Mentors contact faculty?
The Mentoring Program encourages students to communicate actively with their faculty and advisor throughout the semester. In addition, Mentors outreach to faculty on an ongoing basis. Faculty receive two comprehensive lists of Mentoring students in their classes each term as well as individual correspondence with faculty when there are indicators a student is at risk.
While faculty are not required to respond, Mentoring works hard to develop positive, collaborative relationships and uses multiple strategies to outreach with faculty colleagues. On the occasion when Mentors are not able to obtain information from a faculty member, Mentors will rely on information (including graded assignments from students, NEWs and Mid-semester grades, and reviews of Blackboard sites, if available).