What Do Mentors do at the Group Meetings?
Meeting topics include: general information about and exposure to college, life skills, field trips, exposure to community members who share their success stories, community service activities, assistance with academic needs, and career option discussions. Sometimes the sessions are structured nuts-and-bolts style, and other times they can be free-ranging social discussions about topics of interest to you and the students. PreCollegiate Staff program provides a curriculum for mentors and specific guidance and resources, but the program itself relies heavily on the mentors to provide the energy and creativity to determine what works best for their group.
What Is The Commitment and What Are The Expectations Of Mentors?
- Work with students throughout the school year, from September to May.
- Meet with students at least once a month, and preferably twice, for approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Sessions are sometimes held weekly during the students’ senior year.
- Communicate with students to remind them of a group meeting, follow-up with them on grades or assignments.
- Communicate with the program Staff if any problems or concerns arises with a student.
- Attend occasional meetings and/or training sessions held with Staff.
- Attend informational sessions scheduled with other mentors.
- Attend an annual meeting with parents.
- Mentors also have the option to attend other PreCollegiate activities including parent programming, summer programs, high school graduation, and college fairs.
- Some mentors enjoy following up with students once they graduate from high school and go on to college, but there is no program requirement that you continue with your group after they graduate.
What Kind of Support Does The Staff Provide?
- Once you complete the application process you will attend a formal mentor training session where you will learn more about being a mentor and about our curriculum.
- At your request, we will attend your group meetings to support and/or monitor their progress.
- We provide practical coaching and ongoing direct support and feedback for all mentors.
- We furnish a resource binder you can use to prepare for student sessions.
- Via email, we make sure you stay up-to-date with the program schedule and ongoing developments both in the college application process and at their school.
- We organize meetings where you will have a chance to share ideas and resources with other mentors.
Can I Pair Up With Someone, Like a Spouse or a Friend?
Absolutely, we have many co-mentors for groups including friends and spouses. Often the co-mentoring approach offers distinct benefits to the students and helps you with scheduling and managing the process.
Working With a Group From 7th to 12th Grade Seems Like a Long Time. What If I Can’t Commit To That?
We understand that life goes on for our volunteers as much as for the students, and that the period from 7th to 12th grade seems like a long time (although it goes by in a flash!). We like mentors to know going into it that it is ideal for them to stay with the kids their whole high school career, and the vast majority of our volunteers do. Mentors are really only meeting with their groups from 1-2 hours a month for nine months, and most of our mentors report that they wish to spend more time with their groups, not less. If something happens that impacts your ability to meet the expectations we are happy to work with you and your students to get help, meet requirements, and ensure that any transitions are smooth. It is more important for us that we start with a group in 7th grade with a mentor willing to commit for the short term than to wait to serve the students later in their high school career.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please give us a call or email us. We’ll meet with you one-on-one to answer any questions you might have. We can also arrange for you to meet with an existing mentor. If you decide you’d like to volunteer, the school district requires a simple background check to ensure student safety.
We are confident that volunteering with PreCollegiate will be a life changing experience for you, and the impact you will have on students is immeasurable. Please feel free to contact us anytime!