I. STARTING OUT
- Initiate contact within three business days of receiving Mentee contact information. Introduce yourself, share info, encourage questions or discuss concerns.
- Determine together the method of communication that works best for you and your Mentee(s). (Email, texting, chat, Facebook, in-person, etc.).
- Find out what the Mentee has done so far (registration, orientation, when will the Mentee arrive on campus) and how things are going.
- Inquire as to why the Mentee chose their particular program of study, and share what program of study you chose, and why.
- Inform Mentee(s) of upcoming events that are important to new and first-year students; specifically, this would include the importance of attending our orientation and welcome (O-DAYS!) and Campus Life CONNECT U.
- Communicate as often as you like from month to month, but adhere to the established Communication Schedule for the Official Program Communication: within the first three days of each month.
- Ask Mentee(s) about their goals and determine your role: social connection? Advice on how to study? Referrals to resources? Procedures? It’s okay if you don’t have answers to every question—make appropriate referrals.
- Mentee contact information should be kept private. Only assigned Peer Mentors and Campus Life staff should have access to the names and email addresses of assigned Mentees.
Keep in Mind:
- This “getting to know you stage” may take some time, so be patient.
- Avoid assumptions.
- Take initiative with communication and schedule it.
- Mentee(s) may be shy.
- If Mentee(s) do not respond, DO NOT take it personally. DO inform Campus Life Coordinator while maintaining ongoing communication.
- Be sensitive to cross-cultural similarities and differences and how they influence interaction.
- A mentoring relationship takes time and commitment to develop.
- Take it easy! Take time to know each other’s personalities, interests and needs. Taking things slowly will be helpful in increasing the comfort level.
- Know that some Student Mentees may treat you as a trusted confidant and disclose personal information during conversations. This information should be treated with the utmost respect and confidentiality.
- Take note any questions you may have for discussion with peers or OCAD U staff.
I. FOLLOW UP:
- Continue to communicate with your Mentee(s), checking in as much as you do like; adhere to the monthly communication schedule.
- Help your Mentee(s) by providing encouragement, support and guidance; refer them to appropriate resources.
- Support and reassure your Mentee(s) during difficulties.
- Ask about class work and share personal experiences on how to deal with schoolwork demands, stress, and extracurricular activities.
- Listen to your Mentee(s); point out strengths, building their confidence towards making independent decisions.
Keep in Mind:
- It takes time, commitment, and sensitivity to develop a connection.
- As your Mentee(s) get to know you better, they will feel more comfortable and less intimidated.
- Mentee(s) have the option of opting out of the program at any time. Do not take it personally if this happens. Let us know if this happens.
- Remember… when you do not know the answer, say so. Find out who does know and make appropriate referrals. Keep notes.
Tips for Communication:
- Adjust your communication style as necessary to accommodate that of your Mentee(s) (directness/indirectness; outspoken manner vs. reserved; outgoing vs. shyness).
- Be sensitive to the Mentee(s) verbal and non-verbal clues.
- Further explore goals and expectations, and the areas the Student Mentees may need additional support. Make appropriate referrals.
- Informally clarify your common interests, values and objectives.
- Check the OCAD U Events Calendar regularly and encourage participation in events, sometimes as a group with other Mentees.
- Plan a monthly group activity.
- Face-to-face contact and building trust and mutual respect.
- When you try to suggest alternatives, which are not accepted.
- Rejection: you offer un-needed help or the Mentee is not ready.
- Working with a Mentee for many months but they drop out.
- Deciding on activities to do together.
- Follow up on class work inquiries.
- Make sure the Mentee is getting the answers or info needed.
- Recommend activities, volunteer program or student-run groups.
- Through continued communication, the needs, values and beliefs of Mentees will be clarified and will become more apparent.
- The Mentee is becoming more familiar, involved in social life, and better understands how to deal with OCAD University life.
Tips for Communication:
- Do not expect that your Mentee(s) will do everything you advise.
- Put yourself in the Mentee’s situation; see it from their point of view rather than your own.
- Verify Mentee’s feelings and concerns.
- Respond to the Mentee’s need properly (need for nurturance vs. need for autonomy).
- Mentee(s) have acquired a familiarity with OCAD U and its procedures: confidence, knowledge, and a stable social network.
- Mentee(s) will become less dependent.
- Increased self-sufficiency results in less frequent contact.
- Peer Mentor duties have been fulfilled upon the conclusion of the program at the end of November.
- Remember to communicate with Student Mentees and thank them for their involvement.
- Extend an offer of continued support (though informal) for the following winter term.
- Relationship can often continue as friends.