Many mentoring programs, especially school- or afterschool site-based programs, are designed to last approximately a school year of nine to 10 months. Thus, the BAT Guide was designed to follow the lifecycle of an approximately 10-month-long mentoring relationship, hence there are 10 main topics. Mentors and mentoring programs can spend as little as a week on a topic or as much time as they like until they think that they have adequately addressed the goals associated with the topic.
Each of the 10 core topics provides strategies and suggestions for activities to help mentors meet specific mentoring relationship goals or “assets” that may help mentors and mentoring program staff assess and drive growth in mentees. Topics in this Guide are organized to provide mentors with strategies to meet their goals during each several of the stages that occur across the life of a mentoring relationship:
- Initiation: This stage occurs when a mentor and mentee begin a mentoring relationship and start to get to know each other.
- Growth and Maintenance: During this stage of a mentoring relationship, mentors and mentees have gotten to know one another, but they are still continuing to build their relationship, while focusing their activities on helping mentees achieve their academic or personal goals.
- Closure: At this stage in the mentoring relationship, matches have reached a time when they need to plan and end their participation in the program. Alternatively, programs may allow matches to continue to meet beyond the originally agreed upon length of the program, requiring everyone to redefine the mentoring relationship.