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MENTORS FAQ

Who might be a mentor?
The mentor should establish and maintain a professional relationship with the student. Part of the student's experience should be to learn how professionals communicate and operate in the work place. For this reason and, in most cases, except where particularly conducive to the project; it is recommended that the mentor not be a family member, family friend, or school staff member.

Who initiates the mentor experience?
The initiation of a mentor experience should occur as a collaborative between the student and the teacher advisor. Parents are not responsible for obtaining a mentor although they may suggest resources to help locate a mentor or suggest individuals they feel might be appropriate. The advisor should make the initial contact with the mentor and be prepared to explain the NCGP and what a mentor does, how the student wishes to work with the mentor, what are the key commitments the mentor is being asked to make, and to provide the advisor's contact information. The advisor should remain flexible and be prepared to negotiate the terms of the mentor experience with the selected mentor.

How are the parameters for the mentor experience determined?
The actual mentor process and procedures must be negotiated between the student, NCGP teacher advisor and the mentor professional at the onset. There are no defined parameters for the mentor situation since each situation will have to be determined based on the student's project needs, time allocated by or available for both parties and other variables related to the completion of the project. The time commitment of the mentor may have to be determined based on availability, convenience, job demands or other personal circumstances. A student may desire to communicate with a mentor for only a few weeks at a given time during the project development or may prefer to be able to contact the mentor occasionally throughout the life of the project. All parties will have to agree upon the means and the time involvement of the student and mentor. Interaction should satisfy the needs of the student as well as the ability of and time commitment available for the mentor to serve in this capacity.

How may the mentor interact with a student?
The mentor may interact with a student via email, telephone, written communication, other forms of technology, face-to-face or any combination of these. The mentor should be a career professional who is working in the field the student is studying and is in the position to possess the knowledge to provide a beneficial exchange of thoughts and ideas with the student. When possible, the mentor should provide an on-site experience(s) for the student.

What assistance does the mentor provide to the student?
The mentor experience should provide the student with knowledge, insight, resources, and beneficial discussion. The mentor also provides the student an opportunity to interact with a professional in the field of study in order to understand what it means to be a part of that particular work world. Mentors have the responsibility to keep the interaction on a professional basis and ensure the safety and wellbeing of students while mentoring them, especially if on-site. The mentor will provide information to the teacher advisor when necessary. In most cases, the mentor will not provide hands-on assistance with the actual project development, but may give advice, suggestions or valuable information to inform the student's work on any one of the four components or on the project in general. Mentors may sign off on a student's log, project documentation, or other records of mentor interaction to validate time involvement as the student has recorded it. Should the mentor have concerns, issues, or requests regarding their interaction with the student, the mentor should contact the teacher advisor for clarification or assistance.

What is the responsibility of the student?
A student should adopt a professional attitude and exercise appropriate courtesy when dealing with a mentor. It is the student's responsibility to maintain regular communication with the mentor according to the arranged plan, record interactions, and keep the teacher advisor aware of the status and tenor of the mentor experience. Should the student have concerns or issues during or resulting from the mentor experience, he or she should contact their advisor for assistance or to make modifications in the procedure.

What is the teacher advisor's responsibility?
The teacher advisor should monitor the mentor experience throughout by questioning the student on an on-going basis about the experience to assess if all is going well, to determine if the student is being dealt with appropriately and to check to see if there are any difficulties that need the advisor's attention. The advisor may also contact the mentor on occasion to see how the interaction is going, determine if the student is working with the mentor in a timely and appropriate fashion, and ensure the student is interacting and utilizing the mentor's expertise in a manner that is appropriate for the NCGP. The advisor is ultimately the first line of contact for any aspect of a student's NCGP, and should remain informed of the student's progress on and completion of all components of the project.

Questions?
If you cannot find the information you need please contact Elissa Brown