After returning from the National Mentoring Summit, Beverly promptly purchased the Mentoring Central program, Building the Foundation for her site-based mentoring program. She also encouraged mentoring programs in rural and urban areas of Oklahoma to use the courses offered by Mentoring Central.EWOM was already a huge proponent of Mentoring Central, having followed the research conducted on its effectiveness. After evaluating Mentoring Central’s online pre-match training course, Building the Foundation, EWOM decide that it was the perfect fit for its organization and its mentors.
Since that time, Woodrome uses every opportunity to share information with her colleagues about the valuable resources and training available from Mentoring Central. In October 2021, Beverly was invited to participate in the Strengthening Youth Custody and Transition Services Advisory Committee for the Oklahoma Commission for Children and Youth (OCCYS). Following Beverly’s participation in that meeting and her glowing reviews of Mentoring Central’s research-based courses, Mentor4OK purchased the suite of pre- and early- match research-based, online mentoring courses from Mentoring Central including: Building the Foundation, Ethics and Safety, and Building and Maintaining the Relationship.
Beverly appreciates that the courses are not too lengthy and that they are composed of a set of brief lessons. The design of the courses gives mentors flexibility to complete the courses when it’s most convenient for them. Beverly found the online training to be perfect for busy college students who wanted to become mentors while juggling challenging course loads. Mentoring programs can also use training as an ongoing screening tool to measure mentors’ level of commitment to the program. Beverly used Mentoring Central’s administrative dashboard to easily enroll volunteers in online courses, follow mentors’ progress in completing online training, and nudge mentors to finish courses, when needed. Beverly found that the ability of volunteers to complete (or not complete) training was indicative of their seriousness to stick to their commitment to the mentor program.
Requiring mentors to complete pre-match training not only identifies potential red flags regarding which mentors may not fulfill their commitment to the program, but also answers many of the questions volunteers may have about mentoring. It sets clear expectations and goals, so everyone is on the same page, and mentees experience the greatest benefits.