Statewide Mentorship Experience

The Statewide Mentorship Experience is an initiative designed to support Minnesota Adult Ed professionals through a relevant, meaningful, and effective mentorship experience between mentors and mentees. Mentors and mentees may be managers, coordinators, support staff or instructors who are looking to intentionally support and learn from peers in MN ABE programs.

When teachers, managers, and support staff are well prepared for their work, everyone benefits! Research shows that adult students persist when they feel like they are in good hands and are making progress.


  • 12-week commitment
  • 1 virtual kickoff orientation
  • 4-6 mentor/mentee meetings
  • biweekly check-ins via Canvas
  • CEUs and stipend for completion

Focused on results

Mentors and mentees work together to develop SMART goal(s)* around the mentee’s choice area of growth, and check-in periodically over a 12-week cycle.

* Examples of SMART goals:

Administrator Sample SMART Goal: By the end of this mentoring cycle I will review the class offerings, SID data, and student class requests and design a class schedule that more closely meets the needs of the students. This will be measured by administering a brief pre- and post- survey to a student sample and reviewing their feedback.

Instructor Sample SMART Goal: By the end of the 12-week mentoring cycle, I will find and utilize at least 3 standards-aligned resources from the ATLAS resource libraries or other professional resource libraries to address student learning needs identified from current TABE testing results.

Support Staff Sample SMART Goal: By the end of this 12-week mentoring cycle, I will be able to successfully administer computer-based tests for at least 12 students, troubleshoot any issues I encounter, and accurately report test scores in SID.

Is the Mentorship Experience for me?

“Wait, I don’t think I’m qualified to be a mentor!”

Are you sure? A mentor is NOT someone who has all of the answers! Rather, a mentor is an experienced professional who has a particular skill set needed by the mentee; a colleague who nurtures professional growth in a mentee by sharing their knowledge and insights and supporting the mentee in their professional learning and growth.

“I’d love to be a mentee to receive one-on-one support for my professional learning and growth, but I don’t know what I’d talk about with my mentor.”

We provide lots of examples to get you thinking! Perhaps you would like to develop a goal around improving your assessment procedures or receive specific feedback on how to more strongly align warm-up routines to the standards. Or maybe you want to revamp your student orientation or streamline your student registration process. Maybe you want to establish more efficient workflow practices to maximize the little time you have to get everything done. Really, the list of options is practically endless!

Hear from past participants!

  • Check out this newsletter article by Mentorship participants Stephanie Sommers and Kristy Cannon.
  • Check out this brief video:

How to participate

  • Download the application from the Applications page (under Cohorts & Study Circles) on the ATLAS website to apply!

During 2024-2025, we anticipate offering two separate entry points into the Statewide Mentorship Experience:

  • one starting May 31, 2024 (deadline passed)
  • one starting February 21, 2025