Design Parameters

Let's start the designing and planning the who, what, when, where and how of your mentoring program. By taking time to carefully think through all aspects of your program, you will ensure that you're able to serve At Risk students most effectively and sustain your efforts over the long-term. Your decision to start a mentoring program stems from your belief that a need already exists for such a program. However, in order to amass the support you will need to actually launch a program, you must verify that the need does actually exist

~Define the student population that the program will serve
~Identify the types of adults who will be recruited as mentors
~Structure the mentoring program to work in conjunction with the program
~Define the nature of the mentoring sessions (such as, academic support and socialization)
~Determine when the mentoring will take place
~Determine how often mentors and mentees will meet and how long the mentoring matches should endure
~Decide where mentoring matches primarily will meet - What area of the school
~Decide how to promote the program to adults in your community
~Decide how to evaluate program success
~Assure that the program has regular contact with both mentors and mentees concerning their relationship

The program design and planning stage enables you to create a roadmap of how you will manage, implement and evaluate your mentoring program. Keep in mind that you can modify your plan as you go along, when circumstances and experiences dictate. However, advance planning on how the program will be managed: such as selecting a management team, establishing policies and procedures, developing a financial plan, implementing the program and a plan for evaluating the program will assist you carrying out the Elements as outlined in the program management, operations and evaluation sections.