What is an Academic Mentor and How Do They Differ From a Tutor?

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All students may not need a tutor, but all students can benefit from having a mentor! Here’s what academic mentorship means to us. What does academic mentorship mean to you?


Tutoring vs. Academic Mentoring

Tutoring is focused on a specific academic task or subject area. There is a focus on “making the grade” and less emphasis on building up a student from the inside out. In contrast, mentoring is about building connections and a relationship to help with individual growth and overall improvement. Think about the mentors that you’ve had in your life. How did they help you grow as an individual? Mentors help us grow mentally, professionally, and emotionally. They help us foster and grow our self confidence, knowledge, and real world skills/experience. Everyone needs someone in their life that they can look to for guidance that stems beyond what’s happening in the classroom. We can all benefit from having someone to help us look inward and, from there, create goals and plans that’ll help us become our best selves. This is where academic mentorship comes in. It merges tutoring and mentoring so that students improve in more ways than one.

Who Can Be A Mentor for Your Student?

Mentorships can form naturally or can be sought out. For some students, their mentor is their parent, teacher, or coach. For other students, who may be caught up in the “rip tide” of life, they may not even realize that they need a mentor or know how to go about finding one that they can connect with. Mentors are people who are invested in their mentee. Students should be able to depend on their mentor for advice, honest feedback, and wisdom that comes from experience with a particular job or skill, as well as experience with life in general. A great mentor will guide their mentee towards answers and choices without making the choices and decisions for them. They are also able to communicate with their mentee in a way that is constructive and not discouraging. Mentors can come in all shapes and sizes, from anywhere, and at any time. For students, a mentor can be a family member, friend or peer, a neighbor, a coach, a teacher, or someone outside their normal network. A mentor is someone they connect with to form a meaningful relationship that contributes to their overall growth and success.

Trilogy’s Mentors and Academic Mentorships

Our mentors are content experts and role models that help students develop confidence in their abilities, progress in their studies, and develop their real world skills. They are passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. When we match students with our mentors, we look for common interests and personality traits so that students have the foundation for building a good mentor-mentee relationship. Mentoring relationships have more depth to help students reach success in more than one aspect of their lives!