NDCEL Principal and Superintendent Mentorship Program

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Program Objective:
An effective mentorship program is essential to a successful administrative tenure. Using research-based practices and administrator lived-experiences, new administrators will be supported during their early careers as and administrator, especially their first three years.

The group will be utilizing case-studies from lived experiences and through a cohort consultation protocol and aligning with their personal administrator challenges. Each participant will have access to direct administrator support to address challenges faced during the mentorship program.

The mentorship program will create comradery, professional friendships and administrative relationships that can last an entire career.

 Program Design:
The NDCEL Mentorship Program is a cohort model. This model will consist of Instructional Mentors and Support Mentors to guide new principals and superintendents during the school year.

Instructional Mentor: Instructional Mentors are a group of experienced administrative in charge of conducting face to face and virtual meetings for mentees. The Instructional Mentors will lead virtual and face-to-face meetings based on a predetermined agenda. Instructional Mentors will also monitor administrator progress, answer mentee questions, and assist with challenges presented on the WhatsApp for Business chat.

Support Mentor: Support & Instructional Mentors are a second group of administrators that are available to assist and support new administrators. Support Mentors will actively participate in the face to face and virtual meetings. Support Mentors will communicate with mentees that are facing difficulty in their position or who are facing a more challenging situation. The Support Mentor and mentee will visit on a regular basis and the mentor may visit the mentee’s school if needed. Support Mentors are encouraged to participate in the WhatsApp chats.

 Instructional Modality:
The mentor program will be a combination of face to face (in combination with conferences) and virtual meetings (using Zoom).  Mentors and Mentees will also use an app called WhatsApp.  This app will be used for communication, check-ins, and chats during the process.

 Meeting Frequency:
After the initial meeting in August, the Mentor Cohort Members will meet as a group virtually and face to face during the year (Click here to see tentative 2024-2025 schedule).

Sessions will follow a case-study and consultancy protocol format catered to addressing real life challenges the cohort members are experiencing.  If there are topics the cohort group would like to have addressed or received additional information and training – this can be requested.  A tentative agenda for the next meeting will be shared prior to each meeting. Suggestions from participants can be added to agendas as needed. Cohort members will also have access to a support mentor who they can meet with one-on-one as needed. 

There will be virtual zoom check-ins for each of the small groups between some of the face-to-face and large group meetings.  Each of the small groups can adjust the times they meet to best suit them.

 Mentee Cohort Size:

The mentorship program will be comprised of up to 8 participants who are in the first three years of being an administrator in North Dakota or who hold a provisional licensure. The participants will be divided into two cohort groups. One group will consist of all mentees and mentors from their association and the other will be a smaller group that is just our cohort members and instructional mentor.  This will allow each participant to develop a meaningful network of administrators, as well as a support group they can utilize throughout their career.

 Participant Expectations:

Face to Face Meeting Participation: All Mentorship participants will take part in scheduled face-to-face meetings, that will be held in conjunction with NDCEL Conferences and/or meetings/trainings. Cohort members will participate in activities, overviews, and case studies. Conference attendance is an expectation.

Group Cohort Virtual Check-Ins: All Mentorship participants will take part in scheduled Small Group Virtual Check Ins. Cohort members will meet with their Instructional Mentor & Support Mentors and their small group team. These meetings will address current topics, upcoming due dates, deadlines, and/or events that they face as building principals.

Professional Reflection Journal: Research on reflective journaling demonstrates that conditions necessary for reflection include perceived trustworthiness of the journal reader, clear expectations, and feedback (Kerka, 1996).

All Mentorship participants will be asked to provide feedback on their experiences as a principal during this journey.

Year one: $3,500
Year two: $3,000
Year three+: $2,500
*Tip: You can negotiate the mentorship program into your contract.