Mentorship Opportunities

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 at all degree levels must be in full-standing status to register for a mentorship. Before beginning the process, students must read the Mentorship Handbook.

Mentorship Process

  1. Student selects a mentor and mentorship site, following the requirements found in the Mentorship Handbook.
  2. Student and mentor develop a minimum of five learning objectives, again following the format found in the Mentorship Handbook. Each learning objective must be measureable, written in active tense, and if possible, encompass a task from each course in the student’s program of study. Each objective must list the objective, its measurement tool (what will measure the accomplishment of the objective), and the expected outcome of the objective.
  3. Student submits the required forms (Appendix A from the Handbook, the mentor’s resume*, and the learning objectives) to the Mentorship Office.
  4. If mentor meets required criteria, a resident faculty member is assigned as a Mentorship Advisor, and this faculty member will review the learning objectives. Once the objectives have been approved, and the file signed by the Dean of Academic Affairs, the student will be notified that he/she can now register and pay for the mentorship.
  5. Mentorship hours may only be accrued after the student has officially registered and paid the tuition for the mentorship course.

*The mentor’s resume must list the highest degree attained. All mentors are required to have at least a graduate degree plus five years’ experience in the profession. If mentor does not have the required graduate degree, but has many years of experience, the student can request an exception by providing justification for his/her selection of mentor. For further information about the Exception process, contact the Mentorship Office.

Mentorship Experience

The student’s mentorship experience is designed to provide actual, in-the-field training within the sports profession. In addition, the mentorship can help build a professional network. Progression through the mentorship is documented as follows:

  • Students have one year from the date of registration to complete the required number of mentorship hours.
  • During the mentorship, each month the student must submit a brief report summarizing mentorship activities and listing the number of hours accrued for that month. These monthly reports represent 33% of the student’s grade.
  • With the first monthly report, the student must submit a photograph of him/herself with the mentor; an action photograph is preferred.
  • Each month, the mentor must submit a brief monthly evaluation of the student’s progress and attest to the hours worked.
  • After the required number of hours is complete, the student will write a comprehensive paper in APA format about the experience. This paper represents 33% of the grade.

Refer to the Mentorship Handbook for details on how to structure the final paper, but briefly, it should be 12-20 pages in length and formatted according to APA rules. The student must list each learning objective and how it was achieved. The student must also provide an analysis of whether the mentorship prepared him/her for future employment.

  • Also, after the required hours are complete, the Mentor will submit a final comprehensive evaluation of the student’s performance. This evaluation represents 33% of the student’s grade.
  • To complete the mentorship experience, the Mentorship Advisor will conduct an oral interview with the student via phone. This interview represents 1% of the student’s grade. At this time, the student must also complete an end-of-course survey.
  • Mentorship grades are recorded as Pass/Fail.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.