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Target demographics: MentorNet is a 13 year-old web-based program for mentoring women and minority protégés in university engineering, science, mathematics, and technology programs. We match protégés with mentors and guide and cultivate their extended relationship.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 2,000 to 3,000 matched mentor-protege pairs per year
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: Spend only an average of 15 minutes per week emailing their protege!
Programs: MentorNet addresses the severe underrepresentation of various groups, particularly women and people of color, in engineering and science, and has set the standard for high-quality, large scale e-mentoring. MentorNet was founded in 1997 to provide many more opportunities for students who could benefit from the motivating influence of those already out in the working world. MentorNet connects students with working professionals to encourage more of them to stick with their studies and make successful transitions into the workplace.
MentorNet has evolved beyond just a one-on-one mentoring program; an online community with features including topic-based online discussion groups, a newsletter, training and coaching materials, a resume database, and more.
While mentoring is an effective strategy to retain more students in engineering and related sciences, in the past this type of support has been limited to relatively few students and mentoring professionals because of time constraints, location, and/or lack of programs available. By leveraging electronic communications and new technologies, MentorNet eliminates many of these geographic and time barriers, and offers the opportunity to be mentored, or to mentor, to a far greater number of students and professionals. Furthermore, by serving students from many universities nationwide, MentorNet offers deeper and richer pools of potential mentors for students, and economies of scale in operations.
MentorNet includes mentoring programs for students in community colleges, undergraduate and graduate colleges and universities. In addition, MentorNet community members may take part in online, topic-based discussion groups.
- To further the progress of women and others underrepresented in scientific and technical fields through the use of a dynamic, technology-supported mentoring network.
- To advance individuals and society, and enhance engineering and related sciences, by promoting a diversified, expanded and talented global workforce.
• More than 75% of protégés are satisfied with their mentors.
• Approximately 70% believe that their mentor was a good match.
• More than 65% feel that the MentorNet experience was well worth their time.
• Three years after participating, 92% of protégés are still in their STEM field, compared to a national retention rate of about 50% in STEM fields.
• About half our proteges pursue employment at their mentor's employer.
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