Capstone Mentoring Program

Over the past few years we have developed a cadre of about 35-40 department alumni who have supported this effort. We would like to grow this population to ensure there are adequate mentors to support the senior capstone course design teams in both the fall and summer semesters without overburdening a few, replacing those who retire from the effort and accommodate those who have work or personal related activities that preclude them from participating in any year.

When you volunteer for this activity you’ll be requested to complete a profile sheet that includes your contact information and your various business/industry and specific work experiences. This information is used by the program coordinator to match, as best possible, specific team projects with relevant mentor experiences.

The program normally starts with a solicitation of the mentor group requesting people to indicate whether they are available to mentor for a specific semester. This can be an iterative process until we are ensured we can cover the actual mentor needs, provide a couple of back-up mentors and support mentors new to the program.

Experience has taught us that we enhance success by starting well before the semester starts by encouraging team formation and project identification early …. July 15th for the fall semester as an example. We then endeavor to match teams and mentors, provide mentor contact information to the team and encourage students to reach out to the mentor. The time before the semester starts can be used productively for team building, introductions, familiarization with projects and establishing expectations and work processes.

A mentor would expect to be engaged from July 15th through December 15th for the fall semester. Our experience indicates over the elapsed time a mentor may be actively engaged with the team for 20 – 30 hours. The mentor’s effort tends to be front end loaded (perhaps 50 % of the time in the first 45-60 days), wane in the middle of the semester and have a flurry activity as the work winds down. The breadth and depth of a mentor’s involvement will dictate their time commitment but this should be managed by the mentor.

We expect the mentors to be an additional set of eyes and ears. Should teams falter or become disfunctional alarms should go off and the program coordinator and the professors should be contacted.

If a mentor’s personal or professional circumstances prevent them from completing the mentor assignment we will provide replacement mentors for a team … no harm, no foul, but the mentor should notify the program coordinator as soon as possible.

Please fill out the form below to have the Program Coordinator of this volunteer opportunity contact you: