Mentorship programs allow students to perform on-the-job training in a sports-related organization based upon their desired future careers. The Academy has certain requirements that mentors must meet to ensure students are taught by knowledgeable and experienced persons.
Students are responsible for locating their own mentorship opportunities. This is much the same as job hunting, i.e., sending out letters and resumes, making calls and “selling” one’s talents to an organization. As long as the mentor meets the required criteria, the site itself really doesn’t matter; however, the Academy discourages conducting mentorships at a student’s place of gainful employment. The Academy can provide assistance in helping the student locate a suitable mentorship, if necessary. Students can start the process by doing an Internet search of desired sport-related positions, such as “athletic director positions in or near [city, state]”
The mentorship can be paid or unpaid; it is totally up to the mentoring organization.
The mentorship is tailored to each student’s and organization’s needs. The student and the mentor compile a list of Learning Objectives (job duties) based upon the organizational tasks to be performed, as well as what the student desires to learn. It is important that these contain at least one task related to each course studied, so that the student gets a well-rounded mentorship experience.
The student works a specified number of hours toward achieving the Learning Objectives. Progress is tracked daily and reported to the mentorship office monthly by the student and the mentor. After the hours are fulfilled, the student writes a comprehensive report about the experience, and the mentor completes a more detailed performance evaluation. The mentorship advisor, who is assigned at the beginning of the program, will then conduct an interview with the student by phone about his/her mentorship experience. The student can then list this on-the-job training on his/her resume.
The student is given a year in which to complete the mentorship, but can complete it as early as desired, depending on the student’s schedule and how much time can be devoted to the project. The average is between four to eight months for most students.
We discourage students from setting up mentorships with their current employers. However, we do make exceptions in certain situations. Students must prove that their mentorship duties are separate from their daily duties, and mentors cannot be their gainfully employed supervisors.
If the proposed mentor does not have the required degree, the student should locate another mentor who does have the required degree. When that is not possible, if the mentor has many years of experience, is well-known, or if the sport organization itself has a well-known reputation, it may be acceptable. The student can seek approval under our “Einstein Theory” which requires the student to write a “Request for Exception” letter to the Dean of Academic Affairs giving justification for the mentor’s approval.
Nearly 60% of Academy students who have completed their mentorships during the past 12 months have received significant interest from the mentor’s organization in hiring them to a full time position.