Rock Valley College

Understanding Roles & Responsibilities

Roles & Responsibilities of a Mentor

The role of the mentor is, first and foremost, to be an advocate and role model for the mentee. Mentors are not tutors.  Nor are they expected to know all the answers or to solve all problems, but rather to guide, assist, and encourage mentees in developing critical thinking skills, enhancing self-advocacy skills, and promoting academic success.  At times a mentor may serve as a sounding board for mentees by:

  • Providing academic, personal, and/or social support;
  • Assisting students in the navigation of the college environment;
  • Building relationships/facilitating communication between students, staff, and faculty;
  • Modeling and fostering individual development of self-reliance and self-advocacy;
  • Helping with prioritizing and/or organizing tasks;
  • Developing strategies that contribute to the student’s academic performance (ex., time management, study skills, test preparation, note taking, etc.);
  • Assisting with goal identification and attainment;
  • Helping students in the achievement of a school-work-life balance; 
  • Offering encouragement, support, and suggestions for adjusting to college/campus life; and
  • Making referrals to other campus or community resources when necessary and reasonable.

Because of the unique and personal nature of the mentor's relationship, it is imperative that mentors take their role seriously and remain committed throughout the process.  As such, it is expected that mentors will:

  • Be on time, and attend all appointments/meetings;
  • Contact the mentee in the event you cannot make a meeting/appointment;
  • Establish and maintain regular contact with your mentee (if requested);
  • Be honest in communications with mentee;
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times;
  • Model appropriate social skills for mentee;
  • Be clear in outlining goals, expectations, and desired outcomes;
  • Actively engage in the mentoring process at all times (ex., share ideas, offer suggestions, assist with skill development, etc.);
  • Be supportive, understanding, and encouraging regardless of where mentee is at in his/her adjustment to college; and
  • Refer mentee to campus or community resources when appropriate.