A Look into the Development of the New Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™

staff-bio-michael-garringerby Mike Garringer, MENTOR, Director of Knowledge Management

You’ve read a few articles here on the Chronicle over the last several months about the development of the next edition of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, which is scheduled to roll out this year. In this post, we’d like to give you a glimpse into the thinking behind this project and show Chronicle readers the types of conversations and decisions that go into producing a new set of standards for a field like youth mentoring.

In January, the project Steering Committee – Jean Rhodes and Stella Kanchewa from the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, Janis Kupersmidt and Rebecca Stelter from iRT, and Mike Garringer and Tammy Tai from MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership – held a “short course” the day before the National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. This event was designed to gather practitioner feedback on the (at the time) proposed new edition of the Elements.

The short course was dual purpose. First, it gave researchers a chance to present an up-to-date look at what the science says about effective mentoring and mentoring programs. And second, it was a chance for program staff, funders, and technical assistance providers to share their perspectives – to really give voice to practitioner wisdom. In some cases, they also really pushed the thinking of the research community to include new forms of evidence, and they informed our Steering Committee about where their desire for perfect evidence-based standards butts up against the day-to-day challenges of running a program.

More than 80 mentoring leaders gathered to hear, for the first time, about our draft of new Benchmarks and Standards for this next edition.  And we had the opportunity to hear their critical feedback that has served to help us make sure that we are creating standards that are not just technically sound, but implementable and meaningful for our field.

All of the videos from that day can be found here: http://vimeopro.com/academicwebpages/cebm-short-course-archive/page/1.

As noted earlier, the 4th Edition of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ will be out this year and we are very excited to share the final version with programs, funders, policymakers and researchers, so that they can each promote quality today and work toward building on this evidence for tomorrow. What you see in the videos above are the types of considerations and questions and quandaries that we have wrestled with on this project. I have no doubt that the new edition will be more applicable to programs and other mentoring stakeholders because of conversations like this.

If you have questions about the upcoming 4th Edition, or comments about the videos above, please leave them in the comments below and we’ll respond.