National Mentoring Month and Why Mentoring Matters
Author: Melanie Conner
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Start a degree program at American Public University.
By Melanie Conner
Alumni Affairs Liaison, APUS
Inaugurated in 2002, National Mentoring Month is traditionally celebrated in January. It’s a way to promote youth mentoring in the United States through the National Mentoring Partnership. Today, National Mentoring Month raises awareness of the need for personal and professional mentoring and strives to recruit mentors who can be positive role models.
Mentors are important because of the knowledge and skills they can teach to others. Students can receive personal support to boost academic success and build lasting relationships beyond the classroom.
Also, quality mentoring enriches students’ university experience. Mentors and mentees serve as active listeners, supporters and advocates of each other.
Mentors provide motivation and assistance in various areas, including personal, academic and career development.
How ClearPath Provides a Mentoring Service
At the university, we offer virtual peer mentoring opportunities via the ClearPath community, available through the ecampus. Students and alumni interested in connecting with a mentor can review the mentor profiles. Users can set up a personal profile within the ClearPath directory and include their work history, academic experience, objectives and mentoring preferences.
We currently have nearly 2,100 mentors available for ClearPath users. The mentoring program also offers an interactive discussion guide in ClearPath as a resource to help initiate dialogue between community members.
Who Can Become a Mentor?
Various people are eligible to become a mentor. They are:
- Graduate-level students who have completed at least 12 credit hours
- Students with substantial professional or military experience
One Alumna’s Experience in Mentoring
Awilda Hernandez completed her master of arts in intelligence studies at AMU in 2014. She returned for the master of arts in national security studies in the fall of 2017.
Upon her return, Awilda joined the university’s mentoring program because of her own positive experience as an undergraduate. Her mentor, Karen Goff, had a significant effect on her life as a young student pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
Karen taught Awilda that we carry a greater responsibility in life beyond a college education and that our greatest legacy comes from the influence we have on other people’s lives.
Now a mentor herself, Awilda enjoys sharing this message with all students who approach her with questions or concerns about their academic aspirations. Awilda says, “I love being a resource for students who come from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, professional careers and life journeys.
“I love learning about their experiences and struggles and being able to guide them through academic hurdles that at first may be overwhelming. I have been able to help students struggling to balance their careers and family life, as well as meeting their educational goals.”
Awilda recommends that all students join the university’s mentoring program. As an exclusively online platform, ClearPath is user-friendly and offers each participant a unique opportunity to network with other students and alumni in similar programs and careers of interest.
Mentoring relationships encourage students to develop academically and personally, and mentors serve as a vital tool for student success. Email us today at email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about the ClearPath program.
About the Author
Melanie Conner is an Alumni Affairs Liaison who has worked at APUS since 2011. Previously, she was an English teacher at Piedmont Christian School. Melanie holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Mary Washington.