An essential, yet underestimated, factor in professional development is the alliance formed between mentors ("seasoned" professional) and mentees (novice professional). Such alliances build bridges which reach far beyond mutual sharing of work related information. The purpose of the N4A Mentoring Program is to provide the membership with:
Because career development is an essential component of the N4A, the mentor/mentee program provides a means by which to access leads to such things as research literature, model programs and interventions, program evaluation tools, national clearingshouse and consortiums, and many other resources. Mentors can be a valuable resource to new professionals by offering answers to questions about how to direct and manage academic support programs, how to communicate with coaches, faculty and staff, and how to decipher and apply NCAA rules and regulations. By no means should a mentee's expectations be limited to just those things mentioned here. Of course, the quality of the relationship built between the mentor and mentee will determine how and in what ways professional growth will occur.
Consider Webster's definition of "mentor": A trusted counselor or guide; a tutor or coach. What a better way to continue refining your leadership competencies and skills than to assist a fellow colleague. The association's strength resides on the expertise of the membership. The knowledge you share may have large dividends on the welfare of not only our profession, but also the student-athletes and institutions we all serve. Depending on the type of relationship you build and your level of involvement whith your mentee, a mentor may receive: