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Orientation to Mentoring VCU Graduate School Mentorship Program. Jennifer J. Smith-Slabaugh & Allyson Roberts Virginia Mentoring Partnership Richmond, Virginia (804) 828-1536. Orientation Objectives. To become familiar with what it means to be an effective mentor

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orientation to mentoring vcu graduate school mentorship program

Orientation to MentoringVCU Graduate School MentorshipProgram

Jennifer J. Smith-Slabaugh & Allyson Roberts

Virginia Mentoring Partnership

Richmond, Virginia

(804) 828-1536

orientation objectives
Orientation Objectives
  • To become familiar with what it means to be an effective mentor
  • To discuss the expectations for both mentors and mentees
  • To learn and practice effective communication skills
  • To explore activities to engage in and limits to set within the mentoring relationship

Think about a person

in your life who meant or still means a

great deal to you, and how he/she has helped you become who you are today.

mentoring works
Mentoring Works!
  • Existing research indicates that effective mentoring can create more positive outcomes for youth & young adults1.
  • Young people with mentors are more likely to:
    • Succeed in School
    • Achieve Better Grades
    • Have good relationships with peers and families
    • Be engaged in community life
  • And less likely to:
    • Abuse drugs or alcohol
    • Engage in violent or criminal behavior

1Academy for Educational Development, Child Trends, National Research Council and The Search Institute

mentoring benefits
Mentoring Benefits!

National & Connecticut studies2 reveal mentors:

  • Improve their morale
  • Experience greater job satisfaction
  • Feel better about themselves
  • Learn more about themselves
  • Improve their own values and belief systems
  • Increase their own sense of responsibility
  • Accept more challenges at home and work

2Connecticut Mentoring Partnership

mentoring basics
Mentoring Basics

A mentor is a person

who provides support, counsel, friendship, reinforcement, and a constructive example.

Mentors are good listeners, people who care, people who want to help bring out strengths in others that are already there.

The mentoring partnership

is an agreement between two people to share experiences

and expertise, and to help with personal and professional growth.

From: The National Mentoring Partnership

a mentor s role
A mentor is:

A guide

A friend

A listener

A coach

A responsive adult

A mentor is not:

A savior

A foster parent

A therapist

A parole officer

A cool peer

A Mentor’s Role

From: The National Mentoring Partnership “How to be a Great Mentor”

do s and don ts
Do’s and Don’ts
  • Do
    • Honor your commitment
    • Be positive
    • Be yourself
    • Have fun
  • Don’t
    • Be negative
    • Make promises you can’t keep
    • Tell your mentee what to do
    • Pry into the student’s life
mentor requirements benefits
Mentor Requirements & Benefits


  • Desire
  • Time
  • Individual career development plan


  • Practice interpersonal & management skills
  • Pass on successes
  • Gain new perspectives
mentee requirements benefits
Mentee Requirements & Benefits


  • Desire to learn
  • Ability to accept feedback
  • Willing to “stretch”
  • Ability to identify goals


  • A knowledgeable listener
  • Valuable direction
  • Doors opened
  • Gain new perspectives
societal influences



World Issues

Sense of Community


Economic Status

Mass Media


Safety Issues


Societal Influences

A stereotype is a generalization about a group of people.

Stereotypes usually stem from experiences, media portrayals, family and peer influences.

effective communication
Effective Communication

“It is better to remain quiet and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Mark Twain

active listening
Active Listening
  • An active listener focuses on understanding the speaker’s point of view, instead of judging the message.
  • Active listening requires CONCENTRATION, so the verbal and non-verbal message can be heard.
active listening techniques
Active Listening Techniques
  • Paraphrasing
  • Door Opening
  • Probing
  • Perception Checking
i statements
“I” Statements
  • “You” statements can be belittling and blaming. They put the responsibility for the situation on the other person.
  • “I” statements let you express your feelings and thoughts directly, without accusing or blaming.
levels of communication
Levels of Communication
  • Relationships involve many levels of communication from very superficial interaction to uncensored “self disclosure”.
  • Mentors and mentees communicate at all levels. Be aware, however, that deep communication takes time to build.
  • Mentor Roleplays
  • Mentee Roleplays
suggested mentoring activities
Suggested Mentoring Activities
  • Helping with school work
  • Visiting one another’s academic departments
  • Networking
  • Attending special events: concerts, museums, sporting events
  • Playing a sport (basketball, soccer, etc.)
  • Assist with job/school search activities (preparing resumes, practice interviewing, etc…)
star problem solving technique
STAR Problem Solving Technique
  • Stop
  • Think
  • Anticipate
  • Respond
what do you do when problem solving and intervention skills
What do you do when…Problem Solving and Intervention Skills
  • Don’t try and solve their problems. Instead, help them figure out what to do or how to feel about a situation.
  • Don’t be afraid of new situations. If you listen, you are effective.
  • Establish what you want to be called (first name, Mr./Mrs., etc.)
  • Avoid getting drawn into problems that fall outside the scope of this program – can assist in seeking resources
  • Check with program policies before giving gifts of any kind
  • Don’t give up on the relationship if there is a bump along the way
Remember …
  • Check in with your Program Coordinator if any issues, concerns, or questions arise at any point throughout the program
  • Keep relationship professional and confidential
  • Weekly email check-in with Program Coordinator
  • Refer to the VCU Graduate School’s Mentoring handbook on the VCU Graduate School’s website.
  • Have FUN !!!
lunch activities
Lunch Activities
  • Your VENN Diagram

Hobbies, Favorites, Family & Geographic History

  • Discuss your expectations
  • Discuss when you will meet and how often
  • Choose a setting for your meetings
  • Discuss when it is best to phone
  • Agree to confidentiality
vmp services
  • VMP offers technical assistance that assists mentoring program coordinators with all aspects of their mentoring program
  • VMP has an extensive mentoring resource library housed within their offices in Richmond. Any program provider, mentor or other interested individuals are welcome to visit
  • VMP offers a wide variety of training sessions for mentors and program providers

Please contact VMP for additional information: