Many universities have vast resources that could be supporting the long-term mission of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, but in most cases, there is no central coordination drawing these resources into collaboration. Instead there are "silos" and "competition for resources" that reduce the long-term impact.
Here's a map of the different departments at Northwestern University who could be working individually with Tutor/Mentor Connection, or through a University Tutor/Mentor Connection partnership, to help more kids from poor neighborhoods go from first grade to first job, with college a step along the way.
Many universities, such as Loyola University Chicago, have launched Centers for Experiential Learning to support the engagement of students, faculty, and possibly even alumni. At the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, this is called the Center for Community Partnerships.
At UW-P the Center has taken the lead in helping a Mentor Kenosha Racine strategy develop.
We'd like to be working with universities all over the world, and connecting them to each other via web forums and knowledge sharing. All it takes to get started is for one faculty member, or student, to join us on this forum or our Tutor/Mentor Connection ning site, and begin learning what we do, and sharing this with others.
Here's a progression of questions that might be asked:
a) What is the Tutor/Mentor Connection? What is the Tutor/Mentor Institute?
b) What are the questions we're asking and that we need help in answering?
c) What are the questions we're not yet asking, that you might begin to ask, based on your growing involvement with the T/MC?
d) What are the opportunities?
e) How can involvement with T/MC benefit the university, its students, its alumni, its donors, and the general community and society?
In most cases, the people teaching at a university don't know much about the Tutor/Mentor Connection, and have not given much thought as to ways students could have a meangful role with us. We'd like to create a learning process that leads to a better understanding of who we are, and what it takes to connect kids and volunteers and keep them connected for many years, and what roles students, faculty and alumni might take.
Then, work with us to design internships that fit what you are teaching, the goals of the university, and the goals of the student, as well as the goals of the Tutor/Mentor Connection.
Finally, think of this as an on-going project. We both learn from the experiences of the first students, and use that to improve the design of the internship so that each successive student benefits more, and contributes more to the success of local volunteer based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other cities, through support given by intermediary organizations like T/MC.
Once such a partnership is working, the university should be able to reach out through the Tutor/Mentor Connection Database, and offer students as interns, doing the same type of work as they do with CC, T/MC, to dozens of programs that do similar work as we do. In addition, other universities, and other departments within your own university, should learn from your process and experience, to develop their own forms of student engagement with the T/MC, and other tutor/mento programs.
There are numerous entry points to begin asking these questions and start this process. This list shows some of them. Email tutormentor2 @ earthlink dot net or join in our forums to begin your investigation.
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Visit the two links below to see work interns have been doing with Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.
Meet past interns on this blog