A mentoring coordinator is the key individual responsible for the day-to-day running and operation of your programme. It is the mentoring programme manager’s energy and enthusiasm for mentoring specifically and for developing others more generally, that will drive the programme and keep momentum within it. However there has been little research on the role of the mentor coordinator…
The benefits of mentoring
Mentoring has been in the spotlight now for almost fifty years. Empirical studies, as well as what we’ve learned anecdotally from those closest to mentoring, has provided an abundance of new knowledge and understanding as to the workings of and benefits of the mentoring relationship. Initially, benefits were thought to be primarily to the mentee. However, there’s a greater appreciation of benefits to organisations, institutions, or communities in which the mentoring is taking place; more recently, research has found how mentors also benefit personally and professionally from the mentoring relationship.
What’s described as traditional mentoring has been a constant for well over five decades. As professional and social worlds transform, so too has the nature, scope, reach and need for mentoring support. Whether described as programmes, schemes, or something entirely different, mentoring is now the norm, even a prerequisite with differing types of mentoring programmes delivered across education, businesses, the professions, or the voluntary and community development sectors.
What does a mentoring coordinator do?
Much is written about mentoring programmes; their design, implementation, and evaluation; in addition, we’ve learned what and who needs to be in place if mentoring schemes are to be successful. The academic and the grey literature consistently highlights the role of the mentoring coordinator or programme manager as being significant to the successful implementation and the day-to-day running of mentoring programmes. The responsibilities associated with the role of the mentor coordinator are varied and include:
- Promoting and marketing the mentoring programme.
- Ensuring the support and commitment of all key stakeholders.
- Plan and implement the programme according to its aims and outcomes.
- Arrange recruitment, training and the matching of participants
- Support mentoring relationships once established ensuring confidentiality and secure handling of all information held.
- Handle difficulties between pairs should they arise/ as well as rematch and refocus relationships if required.
- Keep in touch with everyone during the programme including providing templates or guidance at the appropriate stage in the programme.
- Ensure evaluation is at the appropriate stages of the programme’s life cycle
- Communicate and publicise evaluation results and feedback.
- Maintain financial control if applicable.
New Research into the Experiences of Mentor Coordinators
Research in mentoring has mostly focused on the mentoring relationships, differing types or approaches to mentoring as well as the evaluation of mentoring programmes and their implementation. Despite the broad range of mentoring studies over the years, there is little mention is the research on the role of the mentor coordinator. There is even less that specifically reflects the lived experiences of those who perform this vital role.
It is with an interest in both mentoring and the role coordination has in successful mentoring that I’d like to consider this under-researched area by exploring with those responsible for the coordination or management of mentoring their experiences and how they describe what it’s like to co-ordinate or manage a formal mentoring programme.
This qualitative study is two-fold. Firstly an exploration through individual interviews with co-ordinators of what it means to coordinate or manage mentoring. Secondly, bringing mentor coordinators together as a community of practice to consider emerging themes relevant to both current and future implementation of mentoring with the aim of sharing knowledge with each other as a community of practice as well as making our findings available to the wider mentoring community.
How can I participate in this mentoring coordinator research?
If you’re involved in the delivery or implementation of a mentoring scheme or programme in a coordination or programme manager role and you’d like to participate in this study, or if you’d just like to find out more of what’s involved, please send me an email at email@example.com or give me a call on +44 (0) 7380601066.
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