Provide Ongoing Supervision of and Support to Mentors.

Addressing the needs of mentors is key to a successful mentoring community. Most mentors experience some frustration and confusion regarding their roles, especially early on. Access to administrative staff and other mentors can help them get past the rough spots as well as provide ongoing guidance. The mentoring community administrator can model how discussion questions can be submitted to a group. When mentors send good questions to the list, the administrator can send an appreciative email to their individual email addresses.

Photo of student speaking with Mentor.

Administrative staff should have regular communication with each mentor to address questions and identify challenges and solutions. These interactions help mentors feel appreciated, maintain a positive attitude, and maximize success in their mentoring roles. The mentoring community administrator should privately encourage individual mentors, near-peers, and protégés to participate when they have not done so in a while.

A discussion list or other electronic forum just for mentors can be used by mentors to support one another. In addition, the electronic community administrator can support the mentors by sending specific resources and guidance to this discussion list periodically, as is done with the messages labeled Mentor Tip in future chapters of this book. For additional ideas regarding the support of mentors, consult the publication Supporting Mentors at