ATP mentor training/Assessment of academic proficiency, motivation and goals/Usage notes

The problem is that while 90 percent of secondary school students and their parents dream of college, many families do not prepare early enough for college — academically or financially. In a 1998 Gallup survey, almost 70 percent of parents didn't feel adequate to guide their children in preparing for college. They wanted more information, for instance, about which courses their children should take to prepare for college; 89 percent wanted more information about how to pay for college. Several surveys reveal that parents overestimate the cost of college by three and four times (GEARUP, 1999). [1]

Assessment of academic proficiency, motivation and goalsEdit

This questionnaire should be suitable for pupils in ninth grade or three years before the end of non-vocational secondary education, whatever comes first.

The questionnaire is meant to give the mentor an overview of the academic achievements and goals of the protégé. Current learning motivation does play an important role so the mentor should make an attempt to measure it, even if this may be difficult.

The questionnaire is best filled in in cooperation with the protégé so the mentor can discuss the views with the protégé before writing them down. A mentor should not try to influence the opinion of the protégé on learning motivation but should help the protégé to aim for improvement.

Goals in vocational education and university education should change over time or the protégé may be stuck with choices that have been made by a younger teenager. Encouragement to consider more and different goals can help the protégé to take a new interest in the topic. Questioning and confirming academic goals together can also help the mentor to motivate the protégé to aim for improvement of his own volition.

Mentors should, of course, emphasize the importance of general education and not discard subjects that are not seen as relevant for the stated academic goals. A mentor should especially alert a protégé to the possibility of changing goals in future.

The questionnaire should be filled in once at the beginning of each new semester or at least once a year.

What Can Mentors Do? [1]
Studies show that students who succeed academically usually have long-term relationships with other knowledgeable and caring adults besides their parents and teachers (Yes, You Can, 1998). For at-risk youth, mentors can fill this valuable role. They can help mentees prepare for college by:

  • Reinforcing the importance of school.
  • Teaching them good work and study habits.
  • Helping them to set positive academic goals.
  • Encouraging them to take college prep courses, like algebra and geometry.
  • Sharing knowledge about financial aid options for college.
  • Encouraging them to attend after-school and summer-school programs.
  • Helping them get tutorial help, if necessary.
  • Challenging them to save for college.
  • Helping them discover special talents and interests that could lead to career opportunities.
  • Guiding them through the college application process.

Mentors can make a difference in their mentees' lives and envision a more positive future by helping their mentees succeed in school!

Evaluating interests and learning motivationEdit

A protégé may express views about motivation, interests, wish for improvement and academic goals that appear inconsistent. As a mentor you can interpret those inconsistencies and deduce among other things if the protégé is following higher-order volitions or not.

  • What can be deduced if the protégé's perception of difficulty doesn't match academic results and stated motivation?
  • What can be deduced if the protégé is interested but badly motivated?
  • What can be deduced if the protégé is motivated but not interested?
  • What can be deduced if the protégé does aim to improve but lacks motivation?


  1. 1.0 1.1 Quoted from Baylor University's Community Mentoring for Adolescent Development (CMAD) Mentor Trainer's Manual

See alsoEdit

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