Mentorships are a model by which District 214 students can learn from and interact with experienced professionals in career pathways they have an interest in. These mentorships benefit our students by providing them with real-world connections to career areas of interest to determine if it’s a pathway they want to continue to pursue or allows them the opportunity to seek guidance on projects or research as they prepare for their own future.
District 214 offers a combination of traditional in-person mentorships and virtual mentorships.
In-person mentorships have been in place for many years in the district in the form of internships, microinternships, and other various other workplace learning experiences.
District 214 is excited to now begin offering virtual mentorships as well. Virtual mentors engage with students through District 214’s Mentor Matching Engine (MME) by providing feedback to students on their college and career plans and by sharing insight into the world of work they took along their own career pathways. Virtual mentors can also engage with students through the MME to provide online support on a variety of design and research projects.
The Mentor Matching Engine is a platform that allows our students to engage with community partners digitally, forming online mentorships around student projects, research and career development experiences. Specifically it allows students to engage with mentors through online messaging, file sharing, and video conferencing.
Mentors on the MME create a mentor profile which provides students with their mentorship type(s) and mentorship categories and a summary of their professional experiences and interests they would be willing to support. In the MME students develop career questions or project/research descriptions and can request mentors based upon matches in mentorship type and categories. All communications in the MME occur in a safe and monitored environment.
Mentoring has been shown to increase student engagement in school and activities, elevate self-efficacy, and boost college and career outcomes. Digital mentoring, in particular, allows students to connect remotely and still be transformational.
If you are a parent or community member with a professional affiliation and are interested in being a mentor to District 214 students, we encourage you to read more here.