Mentoring Central Launches Online Mentor Training Course for School-Based Mentoring Programs

Durham, NC, May 14, 2014—Mentoring Central, a wholly-owned subsidiary of innovation Research & Training (iRT)–a behavioral sciences research company, today announced the release of its web-based, pre-match mentor training course for school-based mentoring programs. 

Building the Foundation for School-Based Mentors is a six-lesson, research-based interactive course that provides the foundation for beginning a mentoring relationship in a school-based setting.  Developed by iRT scientists to help prepare and support mentors either prior to being matched with a mentee or very early in the life of the mentoring relationship, the course features best practices for developing effective mentor-mentee relationships.  Each lesson was designed based on up-to-date research on mentoring, positive youth development, and adult learning, and with input from mentors and trainers working in school-based mentoring programs around the country to help make the training as engaging, useful, and authentic as possible.

“School-based mentoring programs are a win-win solution, reaching mentors and youth in a familiar, comfortable, and safe setting that provides a cost-effective location for hosting a mentoring program,” said Dr. Janis Kupersmidt, president, iRT. “The offering of this course provides increased opportunities for us to help mentors be successful, and be committed to their mentee and their mentoring relationship.”

The mentor training course includes lessons that focus on the early stages of a mentoring relationship, when mentors are thinking about, preparing, and starting to be a mentor. In other words, it is designed to be completed by mentors before they are matched with their mentee, so that they enter the relationship with a strong understanding of their role and responsibilities, and are prepared for engaging in meaningful and enjoyable mentoring experiences. This course is the first step in preparing mentors to begin developing a strong relationship with their future mentee.

Modeled after the original pre-match training course, Building the Foundation for Community-Based Mentors, the school-based mentor training course is customized for the school setting, where mentors develop their relationship on school grounds.  School-based mentors have to be creative, flexible, and responsive in collaborative decision-making with their mentee when they plan for relationship-building activities to be done onsite.

This training helps volunteers improve their readiness to mentor through learning about the roles that mentors should and should not play in the lives of their mentee, and how to set the stage for a healthy and productive relationship.  The information and skills included in the online training are taught and practiced by having mentors respond to journal questions, complete interactive activities, and view engaging videotaped scenarios. The school-based version of the course provides examples that are relevant for mentoring relationships that occur in a school setting.

“One of the most critical aspects to building a successful school-based mentoring program is the training and support that mentors receive to help them develop realistic expectations,” said Kupersmidt. “Training also helps to orient prospective mentors to their personal goals for volunteering to be a mentor, the goals of their mentee and their mentee’s parent or caregiver, and the goals of the program.

“It provides mentors with essential information on how to be and feel prepared to be an effective mentor to youth.  All mentors need thorough training if they are to possess the skills, attitudes, and activity ideas needed to effectively mentor a child or adolescent,” she said.

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About Mentoring Central
Mentoring Central is a wholly-owned subsidiary of innovation Training & Research (iRT)—a behavioral sciences research company committed to identifying and solving significant real-world problems facing children, families, communities, and organizations.  Developed by iRT scientists and researchers, Mentoring Central provides online training products and services to support and strengthen mentors.  For more information on Mentoring Central, visit  To learn more about iRT, visit

Media Contact: 
Yvette Ruffin, APR
Director, Marketing and Communications
Innovative Research & Training