Oregon CEC Mentorship Program!
Click Here to Sign Up Now to be a Mentor or Mentee!
Welcome to the ORCEC Mentor Program! The following provides some information that may be helpful as you begin your mentoring relationship.
1. Mentor & Mentee Application Process & Criteria
Special Educators who are interested in participating in the Mentor Program submit an application, which includes an Information Survey, to the ORCEC Mentor Program Coordinator.
All PK-12 special-education teachers and higher-education faculty teaching special courses are encouraged to participate. Mentors should have at least 3 years of experience in their current position, school, or as a special educator in various capacities.
All first and second year PK-12 special-education teachers and higher-education faculty teaching special courses are encouraged to participate. Special educators in the third year of their current placement will be accepted and matched to available mentors after all first and second year mentees have been matched.
2. Mentor & Mentee Matching Process
The Program coordinator uses the information contained on the Information Surveys relative to age levels of children/youth (pre school-transition) and the areas of exceptionality interests (LD, DD, etc.) to assign mentees to mentors. Geographic matching will be done when possible., unless otherwise requested.
Each mentor will be electronically sent the Information Survey for the “matched special educator” that will contain the mentee’s areas of interest, age or grade levels of students, contact information, goal for participation in the Program, etc.
3. Initiation of the Mentoring Process
Before initiating any contact, each mentor should review the Mentor Guidelines. It is important that these guidelines be kept for ongoing reference as the mentoring relationship develops and when questions may arise.
Upon receipt of the Information Survey from the Program Coordinator, each mentor shall contact the assigned mentee. This contact is required to be made within ten (10) business days of the assignment. It would be preferable if contact were completed within seven (7) days. The earlier that a relationship is established, the sooner support can be provided.
Since the areas of interest on the Information Survey (LD, significant, pre school, etc.) are general in nature, during the initial contact with the mentee, specifics of his/her interests within these areas should be explored. This will assist mentors in providing more specialized and pertinent information during the mentoring.
If a mentor has agreed to mentor two (2) mentees, the second match will not be made until all mentors have been assigned an initial mentee.
The Program Coordinator will check with the mentees to ensure that this initial contact has been made. If it has not, the Program coordinator will contact the mentor to discuss the communication issue.
During the initial contacts, the mentor and mentee will introduce themselves; share other personal information/interests; determine the schedule for the mentoring; develop an orientation for the mentoring process; discuss needs and types of mentoring that can be offered; etc. Each mentoring situation is similar, but yet distinctively personal.
4. Types of Mentoring That Can Be Offered
The goal of the ORCEC Mentor Program is to create a supportive, caring, information-sharing online relationship between the volunteer mentor (an experienced special-educator) and a first or second year special-education teacher or faculty member (mentee).
The types of mentoring offered may be varied and determined by the time periods of the mentoring process; the needs of the student; the mentee’s and mentor’s experiences; course assignments; the questions posed to the mentor; and suggestions/resources the mentor feels are important for the student to have relative to the field of special education, and critical issues in education.
Specific types of mentoring may include:
- Personal support of a general nature
- Information about local conferences, workshops, and support organizations
- Suggestions for specific student-related issues
- Content area modifications/adaptations
- Behavior management techniques
- Reinforcement of certain values and belief systems
- Types of collaborative relationships
- Models for delivery systems of special education programs and services
- Special education information as well as information relative to emerging field issues
5. The Consistent Communication Process During Mentoring
In order to have a successful online mentoring process, communication must be consistent and ongoing. Without communication, there is no mentoring.
Therefore it is important that the mentor:
- communicate with the mentee every two (2) weeks, even if it is merely to just check in; offer support; or show an interest.
- keep the communications brief and to the point unless the question/request from the student requires a more lengthy answer.
- report to the Program Coordinator a lack of response to messages sent to the mentee. A lack of response is considered to be no type of communication from the mentee for more than two-three weeks.
- provide feedback to the mentee in a timely manner.
- make the messages sent up-beat, supportive, and encouraging.
- use other communication links if favored by the student (texting, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
- use the “Topics and Tips for Mentors” to assist the communication flow.
6. Support from the Program Coordinator
Once initial contact has been established, the Program Coordinator will send quarterly requests for updates from mentors and mentees regarding the mentoring relationship. The requests will include recent information from ORCEC and suggestions/pointers shared by other mentors and mentees.
At any time a mentor or mentee has a question, needs clarification, or desires additional information, he or she should contact the Program Coordinator.
Since this is the genesis of the Mentor Program, the Program Coordinator is committed to working with all participants, ORCEC leadership, and partner organizations to resolve issues and collaboratively build a framework for networking among teachers.
When a challenge occurs, when a question arises, or when there is a need for additional information/ assistance, please contact the Program Coordinator immediately so that a resolution can be reached. (Dr. Alicia Roberts Frank, firstname.lastname@example.org, (518) 578-5356)
Again welcome, and thank you for your willingness to engage in collaborative work to support our fellow special-educators, and in turn, the students of our state.
Sign Up Now to be a Mentor or Mentee!
Dr. Alicia Roberts Frank
ORCEC Mentor Program 2/2014