'We All Need Coins, You Know?': How College Students View Paid Mentorship
UNM Mentoring Institute 2019,The Chronicle of Mentoring & Coaching, Vol. 2, October 2019, Special Issue 1
5 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2020
Date Written: October 15, 2019
Although not a universal practice, many U.S. postsecondary mentoring programs employ paid student mentors as part of a structured student-to-student (peer) mentoring model. However, limited research has explored how student mentees view paid mentorship and if mentees can detect whether their mentor is paid or unpaid through a mentor’s behavior. As a result, this qualitative study conducted in-depth interviews with 13 first-year, first-generation mentees of Color attending a predominantly-White institution in the U.S. South to learn how these student mentees view paid mentorship in relation to unpaid, volunteer mentorship. Findings suggest student mentees feel mentors should be paid and that paid mentoring is a financial benefit in contributing to financing a peer’s education. Student mentees also indicated they can detect paid mentors through language usage, the way they conduct themselves in the mentoring relationship, and the way they interact with other mentees. Moreover, student mentees also indicated a mentor’s paid status may influence how they interact with the mentor, distinguishing how volunteer mentors are seen as more caring and compassionate than paid mentors and how paid mentors are viewed as performing mandatory duties, suggesting inauthentic mentor behavior. This paper will address implications for research, practice, and paid and unpaid mentoring praxis.
Keywords: mentoring, mentees, mentors, college, university, college students, paid mentoring
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