Graduate/Undergraduate Mentoring Program
Thank you for your interest in being an undergraduate mentor; you are an important contributor to student success!
This handout provides some background and guidelines on the mentoring program within the department, for further
information, please contact the department office.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is giving your time, attention, insights, and advice.
Mentoring is about helping a mentee develop social capital to complement their development of
technical and intellectual capital. Mentoring involves moving beyond technical/intellectual
assistance and entering into a meaningful personal interaction with the mentee.
What can a mentor provide? Sometimes the most valuable contribution a mentor can make is
just time and attention. It is always surprising to talk to former mentees about their experiences
and what they found valuable. Often, their comments focus on a few themes: (1) it helped to have
someone believe in my potential, (2) it helped my confidence to know that I could talk or write to
someone in your position, (3) it helped to have you listen to some of my professional development
plans and then hear your suggestions.
When mentoring, don’t forget that just your time and attention can have a very significant
impact. The combination of the mentor’s accessibility and approachability is critical and even
small actions can be impactful. Examples may include having lunch with a student and
establishing an open-door policy.
The NASA First Mentoring Program Handbook adds this useful summary: "A mentor is an
experienced individual that serves as a trusted counselor, loyal adviser and coach who helps and
guides another individual’s development. The mentor is a confidante who provides perspective,
helps the candidate reflect on the competencies they are developing, and provides open, candid
feedback. Mentors have a unique opportunity to serve as a 'sounding board' for the candidate on
issues and challenges they may not share with individuals within their own organization" (2008,
Credibility: The better we are at what we do, the better mentors we will be.
Integrity: It is not enough to talk about integrity, one must live the example. Many students do not
take it seriously. Mentors must.
Confidence: Many students start with little but can become outstanding when properly encouraged
Cooperation: Discourage aggressive competition among students. Encourage cooperative efforts
Chores and citizenship: Engage students in professional responsibilities: reviewing, proposal writing,
and presentations. This does not mean handing these tasks off and letting them sink or swim.
Give them the opportunity to learn all of the skills they will need later in their career.
Communication skills: Brilliant research is of little use if not clearly understood. Correct English with
good style is critically important. Practice writing and speaking skills constantly.
Professional Activity: Rehearse them extensively. Introduce them to colleagues. Get them plugged
(This list from: PAESMEM Proceedings at Stanford University Values for Mentors)
*Material adapted from Institute for Broadening Participation Mentor Manual
Ethical Code of Practice for Mentoring
Ø The mentor’s role is to respond to the mentee’s developmental needs and agenda. It is not to
impose a personal agenda.
Ø Mentors must work within the current agreement with the mentee about confidentiality that
is appropriate within the context.
Ø The mentor will not intrude into any areas the mentee wishes to keep private until invited to
Ø Mentor and mentee should aim to be truthful with each other and themselves about the
Ø The mentoring relationship must not be exploitative in any way, nor must it be open to
Ø Mentors need to be aware of the limits of their own competence and operate within these
Ø Mentors have a responsibility to develop their own competence in the practice of mentoring.
Ø The mentee must accept increasing responsibility for managing the relationship; the mentor
should promote this development and must generally promote the mentee’s autonomy.
Ø Mentor and mentee should respect each other’s time and other responsibilities, ensuring that
they do not impose beyond what is reasonable.
Ø Mentor and mentee share responsibility for the smooth winding down of the relationship
when it has achieved its purpose; they must both avoid creating dependency.
Ø Mentees should be aware of their rights and any complaints procedures.
Ø Mentors must be aware of any current law and work within it.
A mentor is . . .
o A knowledgeable and experienced guide who teaches (and learns) through a
commitment to the mutual growth of both mentee and mentor.
o A caring, thoughtful, and humane facilitator who provides access to people, places,
experiences, and resources outside the mentee’s routine environment.
o A role model who exemplifies in word and deed what it means to be an ethical,
responsible, and compassionate human being.
o A trusted ally, or advocate, who works with (not for) the mentee and on behalf of the
mentee’s best interests and goals.
A mentor is not…
o A (surrogate) parent
o A professional counselor or therapist
o A flawless or infallible idol
o A social worker
o A lending institution
o A playmate or romantic partner
Goals of the Mentoring Program
1. To build community between graduate and undergraduate students
2. Provide the opportunity for undergraduate students to receive career and graduate school
mentorship and preparation assistance and develop networking/professional skills
3. Provide the opportunity for graduate students to develop as professionals and mentors
4. Encourage a positive and support Geosciences department culture
1. Interact with your mentee on a regular basis (minimum of once/month).
2. Set clear expectations.
3. Refer student to appropriate resources whenever appropriate.
Feedback from last spring:
“I liked that my mentor would push me to do things that I normally would have been too scared to do. Like
emailing the hydrogeology teacher to meet with him.”
“I liked that the mentors knew what it was like to be in our position, and so they gave us resources to make the
transition out of college easier.”
“It brought new ideas I haven’t yet though about to my attention.”
“I enjoyed the chance to connect with other people besides undergraduates in the department. I feel like graduate and
undergraduate students sometimes fall only into a teacher-student relationship, and this program gave us the
opportunity to have a different kind of interaction.”
Jill Putman – Academic Support Coordinator, Department of Geosciences (970) 491-4196
Adult Learner and Veteran Services
Assist with the transition of veterans and adult students to campus life
195 Lory Student Center/491-3977/ http://www.adultstudents.colostate.edu/;
[email protected] [email protected]
Arts and Sciences Tutoring in the Great Hall
Free tutorial for many math, science and liberal arts courses
Great Hall, 2nd floor, TILT Building/ 491-5365
Learning Programs including:
Academic Skills Workshops http://tilt.colostate.edu/learning/tutoring/artSciences.cfm
Assists students and alumni in their exploration of academic majors and professional
26 Lory Student Center/ 491-5707/ http://career.colostate.edu
Walk in career counseling/116 Lory Student Center/M-F 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
CSU Health Network - www.health.colostate.edu
Provides support through individual and group programs to help students cope with
personal and academic difficulties. This includes alcohol and other drug treatment and
educational programming. 491-6053
Student Diversity Programs and Services
Provide direct service and programs that foster cultural awareness and multicultural
education on campus and in the community.
Asian/Pacific American Cultural Center (A/PACC)
Black/African American Cultural Center (BAACC)
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center (GLBTRC)
Native American Cultural Center (NACC)
Resources for Disabled Students (RDS)
Women and Gender Advocacy Center (WGAC)
Student Financial Services (Financial Aid Office)
Provides students and their families with information on financial aid and other financial
103 Centennial Hall/ 491-6321/ http://sfs.colostate.edu/
Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE)
Coordinates and facilitates service opportunities for students, faculty, and staff by
establishing partnerships with local, regional, and global communities
113 Lory Student Center/ 491-1682/ /www.slice.colostate.edu/
Supports writers and teachers of writing inside and outside the CSU community
Eddy Hall Room 6/ 491-0222/ http://writing.col