September 13, 2021, Durham, NC – After co-authoring “the book” on mentoring and committing themselves to empowering youth, researchers at innovation Research and Training started a new Mentoring Central venture and developed a new asynchronous, online mentor training course, Building the Foundation for e-Mentoring. This course includes core foundational topics that all mentors need to learn, tailored for the e-mentoring experience.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mentoring programs were required to transform from in-person to virtual. Because of this transformation, as well as the general increase in virtual interactions and growth in virtual mentoring programs that provide mentees with access to a large pool of mentors worldwide, the Mentoring Central team recognized the need for high quality basic training for e-mentors. In addition, moving forward, remote mentoring relationships may still be necessary; virtual options can help mentoring programs endure and thrive. Thus, the need for training of e-mentors may persist for a long time.

Building the Foundation for e-Mentoring provides evidence-based, interactive, and easy-to-use training for volunteers in e-mentoring programs. This course trains mentors to establish a relationship with a mentee when the relationship is completely virtual. Online mentoring is the ideal format for e-mentors because they are trained in a similar environment they interact in with their mentee.

Six lessons are included in the course: an introduction to e-mentoring and its effectiveness; common motivations for being a mentor; realistic and unrealistic expectations about e-mentoring; roles mentors should and should not play; and planning for the first virtual meeting with their mentee.

After completing the course, mentors will have the tools to know what to expect when mentoring a mentee they may never meet in person. This will help mentors prepare to meet and get to know their mentee. Additionally, the course will help mentors understand the unique role and boundary issues that can arise in e-mentoring relationships.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, MENTOR recognized the growing interest and need for guidance for e-mentoring programs resulting in a comprehensive literature review on the state of knowledge about e-mentoring. Based upon that literature review, a Supplement to the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring was published providing a set of specific recommendations to the field to support the development of safe and effective youth e-mentoring programs. The themes and examples in the course related to e-mentoring were developed based upon the e-Mentoring Supplement (Garringer, Kaufman, Stelter, Shane, & Kupersmidt, 2019), co-written by Drs. Janis Kupersmidt and Rebecca Stelter, Research Scientists at Mentoring Central.

Learn more about this new featured product at the Mentoring Central website: