AAMS Mentor FAQs
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is eligible to be a mentor?
Any interested African-American male Saint Louis University faculty, staff, and alumni are eligible to become mentors in the AAMS Initiative.
Who is eligible to be a mentee?
All interested first- and second-year African-American male Saint Louis University students will be eligible to become mentees in the AAMS Initiative.
What will be the process to become a mentor? How will I be matched with my mentee?
The role of mentor will be available to any interested African-American male faculty, staff, or alumni who agree to the terms of being a mentor. You will be asked for information regarding your profession and/or fields of expertise, your hobbies, and what you are looking for in a mentoring relationship. This will be used to determine the best mentee matches. In turn, you will receive background information about your mentees (e.g. year, major, hometown, interests).
For the pilot year, mentees will be first- and second-year students who express an interest in the mentorship program and agree to the terms of participation. Information will also be collected from them regarding their academic area of interest, hobbies, and what they will want from the mentoring relationship.
How many students will I mentor?
We expect to have approximately 20-25 incoming students, with 12-15 mentors, who mentor 1-2 students (no more than three).
What is the role of a mentor?
Mentorship is a central component of the AAMS Initiative. In support of AAMS goals, mentors will-
- Help mentees better understand themselves in the context of their campus and community relationships and demonstrate pride in their own cultural heritage.
- Provide support to mentees by assisting them in building relationships with their peers, faculty, staff, alumni, and other members of the community.
- Expose mentees to campus and community resources that will enable them to realize their potential for academic and personal success.
- Help mentees to make a positive impact on the campus and community and to develop holistically as servant leaders.
- Advocate for a more supportive and inclusive institutional environment and help mentees advocate for themselves.
How many times should mentors meet with mentees?
We will strongly encourage at least once per month, but the minimum will be twice per semester.
What kinds of activities can I share with my mentee?
There are a variety of activities that you can share with your mentee. The goal is to build a relationship that supports the mentee in their in their academic and personal development, that both meet their interests and specific needs. They can include, but are not limited to-
- Talking over a meal.
- Shadowing you at work for an afternoon or a day.
- Participating in sports or other activity.
- Watching a movie.
- Attending a community engagement event.
What kinds of discussions should I have with my mentee?
We ask that during your interactions, you ask your mentee how he is doing academically and personally, offering a safe space where he can share what is happening in his life. While it always good to provide a listening ear, you may believe that there are some issues you are not equipped to address. We encourage you to reach out to the Cross Cultural Center staff for any of those concerns. Contact information is detailed below.
How do I document my mentorship activities?
You mentee will be provided with mentor/mentee contact forms on which you will document your interaction with your mentee, along with the number of hours, and concerns discussed. These forms will be collected by Cross Cultural Center staff and will assist us in providing support to both mentors and mentees in the program.
How much time should I be available for my mentee(s)? What about after-hours and cell phone contact?
The mentor/mentee relationship can be seen as similar to that of instructor/student. You are able to set the times at which you will be available to meet or talk with students about concerns. You can set appointments or open times, but be open to meeting with mentees on an emergency basis if your schedule permits. Although we expect mentees to make the initial contact, mentors should play a large role in building a relationship with their mentee, emailing them regularly to check on them. Giving a student your home or cell phone number is at your discretion.
Can I provide financial or similar resources to my mentee?
Because the mentor/mentee relationship can be seen as similar to that of instructor/student, lending or providing your mentee with money is not encouraged by the program. If your mentee expresses a need for financial or similar resources, please contact the Cross Cultural Center staff, and we will work with involved stakeholders to find solutions for the student.
How long will the mentoring relationship last?
It is our goal that the mentoring relationship lasts throughout the student's college career and that a mentor remains an important part of the student's life after college. During the first two years of the mentee's college career, the minimum mentorship expectations outlined above will apply. After the first two years, they can be supported on a more informal basis. These mentees will likely become peer mentors and your guidance and support will certainly be important for them in this process. You are at this time free to build mentoring relationships with other first- and second-year students.
What happens if either party determines that the mentoring relationship is not mutually beneficial?
If a mentee is not meeting expectations and/or you have concerns about your ability to benefit your mentee, please contact the Cross Cultural Center staff to discuss the issues and to determine possible solutions.
What events are required of mentors?
We expect mentors to commit to the following:
- AAMS Initiative Information Session
- At least two face-to-face mentoring sessions with each student per semester, one of which must be individual.
- At least one group meeting/reception for mentors (one per semester or as needed).
- At least one AAMS event (e.g. Cultural Service Learning Project, Workshop, Social Excursions)
What information should I share with the Cross Cultural Center Staff?
Mentors are expected to any serious student concerns with the Cross Cultural Center staff. This information will be used to appropriately follow up with the student, parents/families, and/or other involved parties to address these concerns. With permission, any information relevant to making a referral (i.e. Career Services) may be shared with that party for that purpose.
Information that should be shared with CCC staff includes, but is not limited to-
- Issues with personal and social adjustment to the University.
- Academic difficulty.
- Financial concerns.
- Time management challenges.
- Peer or family relationship concerns.
- Significant dissatisfaction with and/or intent to leave the University.