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Mentorships are an important of programs for students with disabilities attending college. Mentors can be used to help in almost all program areas, including the social, academic, and independent living components, as well as internship and employment mentors, and faculty and staff mentors. Some mentorships can be paid while others are a volunteer position.

Project STING RAY has three types of mentors – peer, academic, and community.

Peer mentors help students become acclimated to the campus and help orient them to college social life. Peer mentors are volunteers and usually spend about one-two hours per week with a student. Students may have more than one peer mentor and usually mentorships develop naturally over time to a more informal meeting. Peer mentors are important because they help students in the program become involved on campus through clubs and organizations as well as meet new people and develop their social group.

Academic mentors are students taking a class alongside the student in the program, or have already taken the class in the past and have a strong command of the subject. This type of mentorship is more structured, meeting about two-five hours per week to discuss lectures and work on course assignments and projects. Academic mentors are paid above minimum wage to encourage a strong commitment to the position.  

Community mentors are students who facilitate a series of independent living lessons with an individual in the program. These are students who have demonstrated responsibility and leadership and are able to guide students in the program through lessons, such as buying a car or cell phone, or renting an apartment. Like Academic Mentors, Community Mentors are paid above minimum wage to encourage a strong commitment to the position. Community mentors commit to five-ten hours per week and may work with more than one student on community lessons.   

Mentor Scenarios
  Ashley Talbot, Tyson Peterson, & Rachel Lamb, AmeriCorps Mentor Recruiters
AmeriCorps Mentor Recruiters will present a short workshop on some of the more common scenarios mentors may encounter when mentoring a student within a transitional postsecondary education program. Mentor Recruiters will assist mentors in open discussions on how to address certain situations such as cell phone use and how to notice abuse-which could occur with any student. The Mentor Recruiters will also allow time to offer any advice on personal occurrences which a mentor may have already encountered.
Proceedings of The 3rd Annual Hartwick Symposium on Postsecondary Education & Intellectual Disabilities, October 31 - November 2, 2012, Jacksonville, FL

Supporting Students in the Postsecondary Vocational Environment
   Ethel Still Richardson, Adjunct Lead Assessment Instructor, VERTICAL Program, Florida State College at Jacksonville
This session is designed to share helpful strategies used to identify, connect, and secure appropriate supports for students of Project Achieve and the VERTICAL program who were struggling in their vocational classes. 
Proceedings of The th Annual Hartwick Symposium on Postsecondary Education & Intellectual Disabilities, October 2-4, 2013, Boca Raton, FL


Best Buddies
Best Buddies is an international organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They have many resources on establishing mentorships in a variety of formats, from establishing a Best Buddies chapter to having an online mentorship, called e-Buddies.

Mentoring/Educational Coaching
This section of the Think College website offers a list of resources for establishing mentorships for programs for people with intellectual disabilities to attend college. The resources include an online module on mentoring, as well as information on creating a mentor partnership, sample mentor plans and job descriptions, frequently asked questions about mentoring, and mentor training materials.

Paving the Way to Work: A Guide to Career-Focused Mentoring
The creation of the Mentoring Guide is rooted in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy’s (ODEP) charge to find and promote the most effective research-based policies and practices to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities. Mentoring is recognized as one of the most important strategies for assisting youth in making a positive transition into adulthood. Despite all of the information available on mentoring, there is very little about mentoring youth with disabilities or about career-focused mentoring of older youth. This Guide was developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) specifically to address the needs of youth with disabilities during their transition from school to work. This Guide is intended for individuals designing mentoring programs for youth, including youth with disabilities, in the transition phase to adulthood.



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