By Ryan Parks and Kimberly Smith
Student Affairs Liaisons, American Public University
ClearPath Mentoring Launches for Students
When you are debating a date night outfit or seeking consolation after your team loses the big game, you turn to a friend. Who do you turn to when you need guidance and motivation in your academic and professional life? A mentor. The right mentor can challenge and coach you to the next level as you move towards your educational goals. At American Public University and American Military University, we encourage students to expand their networks and become involved in mentoring. With quite an impressive community at your fingertips, the potential for a meaningful mentoring relationship is an opportunity worth exploring.
The Office of Student Affairs is excited to announce the launch of ClearPath Mentoring! ClearPath Mentoring provides tools for students seeking professional and academic insight from their peers. Using the virtual ClearPath forum, students may search for mentors and mentees, start mentoring relationships, and explore group mentoring options for mentoring resources and group networking based on various areas of interest.
Serving as a Mentor
If you are debating becoming involved as a mentor, Jordan Garza, a recent AMU undergraduate and current student in the Masters in Public Administration program, sums it up best with his inspiring reason for becoming a mentor.
“I serve as a mentor to help the people around me overcome the challenges and obstacles they face. I have learned firsthand how having someone believe in you can change the direction of your life forever. Not everyone has a positive influence or a positive role model. If I can be that positive influence and help change the lives of the people around me, then I have accomplished my personal goal in life.”
Indeed, mentors serve a significant role in the lives of mentees by challenging the status quo and offering support as mentees work to attain professional and academic goals. The best part is that you don’t have to be an expert to serve as a mentor; chances are there is a student in ClearPath today who could learn from your unique experiences and your personal journey.
In the coming weeks, alumni community members will also join the network and provide mentorship to students walking in their footsteps.
Learning as a Mentee
While mentors are to be admired for their dedication and willingness to help others pursue their goals, mentees deserve to be praised for reaching out for guidance and being open to feedback. Countless news articles revere how mentors have helped to shape successful entrepreneurs, famous celebrities, and everyday heroes.
No matter where you are on your academic and professional timeline, finding a mentor can be a life-changing experience. In fact, in ClearPath Mentoring, mentors even have the ability to add a mentor or mentors. We encourage the development of these relationships to enhance existing leadership skills.
1:1 Mentoring Tools
We understand the process of starting a mentoring relationship is a new experience for many students, regardless of your time spent in the classroom or the workplace.
Once you find a mentor or mentee, it is helpful to discuss communication expectations and goals for the relationship during your first meeting. This upfront dialogue helps to set up the 1:1 mentoring relationship for success. Please stay tuned for upcoming resources currently being developed to provide guidance for your 1:1 relationships, including additional training apps in ClearPath and an Interactive Discussion Guide.
In this video, Amanda Wilson, Director of Student Affairs, reviews the value and resources included in the ClearPath Mentoring Network.
The ClearPath Group Mentoring Network
For students looking to connect with the mentoring community at large, we offer group networking through the ClearPath Mentoring Network (CPMN). In CPMN, participants can expect to see mentoring relationship resources, training opportunities, and advice from other mentors and mentees. The CPMN is a great place to post a general question if you are seeking quick guidance. Mentors and mentees can join the CPMN by locating the group under the Communities section in ClearPath.
The Mentoring Groups
ClearPath Mentoring will also include various sub-communities developed around an area of interest. Here, students can network in a group setting with others to learn about an industry or share helpful professional and academic insights. Announcements, career fairs, and program information will be featured in these focused groups.
For assistance with ClearPath Mentoring at APU and AMU, feel free to contact the Office of Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help you as you move through your mentoring experience online.