I edited this post for the organization I work for, the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN), at the Sacramento County Office of Education. Sometimes I think adults are leaving our youth behind and we need a little reminder to invest our time and talents in our youth. In the church we often couch it in religiosity and call it discipleship. Whatever term you use, young people need our wisdom and experience. “Be someone who matters to someone who matters.”
January marks National Mentoring Month! Formed in 2002, National Mentoring Month celebrates the evidence-based, positive impact of mentoring in the United States. Although most of January’s activities focus on youth, mentoring can have a positive effect on adult student success, too. Returning to Learning: Adults’ Success in College is Key to America’s Future (Lumina Foundation, 2007) asserts that a mentor is a primary need for many adults, especially those who belong to minority groups, need financial aid, work more than 20 hours a week, and maintain single-parent responsibilities. The most successful mentoring provides four types of support: 1) psychological and emotional; 2) degree and career-related; 3) academic/ subject knowledge; and 4) the presence of a role model. Mentoring can have a positive impact on student outcomes including self-confidence, future aspirations, grade point average, and persistence rates (Crisp, 2010). Mentor recruitment, selection, training and ongoing support are key for obtaining positive outcomes.
Read more on National College Transition Network blog.