Formal Mentoring:

  • Has a coordinator.
  • The partnership is facilitated.
  • Goal or outcome oriented.
  • The primary criteria for the mentor is the ability to assist the partner in reaching the goal.
  • Both partners recognize the relationship as mentoring.
  • There is a mentoring agreement.
  • The relationship works within an agreed framework and timelines.
  • It is regularly evaluated.

Informal Mentoring:

  • Initiated and maintained by the partners.
  • Partners are matched by chance.
  • Goals may be non-specific.
  • Primary criteria is liking and respecting the mentor.
  • The relationship may not be recognized as mentoring.
  • There is no mentoring agreement.
  • The relationship grows as needed.
  • The relationship is rarely evaluated.


  • Is the process in which a more experienced person facilitates the development of a less experienced person. This is done by providing guidance, advise, support, and feedback.
  • Is a power-free partnership between two individuals who desire mutual growth.
  • In educational settings, the mentors have multiple roles:
  • Personal support: Psychosocial support
  • Professional development: Career related activities, coaching
  • Role modeling: Visual images of persons who have completed their journey through higher education (Kochran, 2002).

Mentoring vs. Coaching Mentoring is relationship oriented, has long-term implications and is holistic (broad enough to address facets of the whole person.) It may also include coaching to address specific areas. Coaching is skill driven, short term, and focused on behavior.

Major Relating to a subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization.

Mentoring Partner Student participating in the program. Also referred to as the protégé or mentee. Eludes to a partnership between the mentor and the student.

Coaching Is skill driven, short-term, and focused on behavior.

College The discipline where your major is located, i.e. College of Education, College of Business, etc.