Back in October, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership released the first entry in a series of planned supplements to their core Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ publication. The initial publication in the series focuses on mentoring programs that emphasize getting youth interested in and on career pathways in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The STEM Mentoring Supplement to the EEPM offers an in-depth review of the research on STEM mentoring programs, a typology of STEM mentoring programs broken down by age of youth served, and sections that detail new and expanded Benchmarks and Enhancements that can specifically help STEM mentoring programs hit the mark. The resource was generously funded by biotech leaders Genentech, who also supported a working group of programmatic and STEM industry leaders in reviewing and approving the recommendations. MENTOR feels that this resource will help STEM-focused programs achieve their outcomes and ensure that the mentoring relationships they offer are as meaningful and well-supported as one would expect to see in any 1:1 or group mentoring program.
Other supplements are being prepared for publication or are in the planning stages for a series of releases throughout 2019 and beyond. The genesis for these supplements is a recognition that the youth mentoring field has diversified and expanded over the last quarter century to a degree which makes it hard to identify globally-applicable mentoring practices that cut across all program types, youth populations, and service models. Director of Research and Evaluation, Mike Garringer, puts it this way: “While the core EEPM certainly offers a rock-solid, evidence-based starting point for mentoring practitioners, we recognize that in order to serve particular youth well or to achieve very specific outcomes using prescribed approaches will often require us to pull from research in other, adjacent fields, and to build more intentionality into how certain practices are handled and how mentors are equipped with nuanced information to make their mentorin tailored to the task at hand. If the core EEPM is the ‘Ten Commandments’ of mentoring, we view these supplements as really good ‘sermons’ that build on those core practices by providing more detail and drawing from more relevant research and practitioner wisdom.”
Upcoming supplements planned in the series include e-mentoring, career and workforce development-focused mentoring, group mentoring, cross-age peer mentoring, and even emerging topics like critical mentoring. These supplements will allow practitioners to avoid “cookie cutter” approaches to mentoring and allow for more focused work with youth. “This is an exciting time,” says Garringer, “we are really thinking about how we can take research-to-practice to the next level and giving programs of different types more nuanced advice seems like a great starting point and a way of honoring the tremendous diversity of the work that happens under the umbrella of ‘mentoring’.”
Check the MENTOR website for updates and new supplements throughout 2019.