An e-mentor is a caring adult who provides friendship, support, education,
and encouragement through the use of e-mail.
E-Mentoring and Traditional Mentoring
E-mentoring shares some of the most important traits of traditional mentoring:
- A caring relationship
- Fostering of the young person's skills by a more experienced person
- Ongoing, regular communication
- Trust, warmth, and support
- Clear boundaries of the parameters of the mentoring relationship
- Administration by an organization that oversees the mentoring relationship
E-mentoring differs from traditional mentoring in several ways:
- Communication occurs mostly through e-mail
- Relationships are often time-limited
- Screening and monitoring procedures may differ
- Mentors can often engage in e-mentoring during their work day
- E-mentoring offers the convenience of communicating online
Approaches to E-Mentoring
There are several ways to approach e-mentoring. It can be:
- A situation in which various mentors provide guidance to a group of
people. Classrooms sometimes recruit experienced professionals to guide
complex school projects.
- One-to-one mentoring in which each young person has a mentor.
- Project-based learning in which a mentor works with a student to complete
- Curriculum-based mentoring in which the teacher posts discussion questions
relevant to curriculum for the mentor and mentee to discuss.
- Unstructured interaction in which mentor and mentee allow the relationship
to unfold in keeping with common interests.
- Any combination of the above.
Connecting to Success E-Mentoring
Connecting to Success is a project that links employed members of a community with students who are at-risk or have disabilities. The model includes:
- One-to-one mentor matches for the duration of one academic year
- All mentoring within the context of a school setting
- Partnerships between schools, communities, and employers
- Oversight by a program coordinator, teacher, and employer-liaison
- Only e-mail communication and school-sponsored activities
- A training manual for coordinators, teachers, mentors, and others
- A flexible model that can be adapted to the needs of each school
- A youth development approach to build resiliency and self-reliance
- Special training for working with at-risk youth and youth with disabilities
- A career emphasis that seeks to involve business partners in e-mentoring
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This page was last updated on Friday, August 20, 2004.