At Amherst, we define mentoring as a learning partnership where a more experienced mentor draws upon his or her knowledge, skill set, and perspective to provide guidance and feedback while facilitating the personal growth and development of a less experienced mentee. A mentee takes an active role and responsibility for his or her own learning and development and a mentor facilitates that growth by asking thought-provoking questions that help a student to reflect on his or her experiences. The intended outcome is that a student gains greater assistance with making strategic and informed decisions regarding his or her academic and professional life.

The mission of the program is to foster a culture of mentoring at Amherst that:

  • Connects students with alumni mentors through a structured framework encouraging productive conversations.
  • Empowers alumni mentors to engage students in critical thinking that is reflective and strategic.
  • Offers opportunities for alumni to build mentoring skills.

How It Works

Program Structure

Pathways offers short- to long-term mentoring engagements that are initiated on a cyclical basis. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to be in contact at least twice a month during the mentoring term.

Mentoring terms run on the following schedule:

  • Fall Term 2017: September 1, 2016 - December 29, 2017
    Open Enrollment: September 1 - September 30, 2017
  • Spring Term 2018: January 19 - May 30, 2018
    Open Enrollment: January 19 – February 19, 2018

Mentors can accept up to two mentees at any given time, while mentees can have only one active mentor per term.

At the end of each term, active mentor relationships automatically terminate so that they can be evaluated. If a mentor and mentee would like to formally continue their relationship, the mentee can re-request their mentor through the Pathways directory for another term.


The Process

  • Once you have aquainted yourself with the program, register online and complete a mentor profile. Once your profile is complete, students will be able to search the Pathways directory to find you as a mentor.
  • Alumni mentors can determine their active status in the program on a term by term basis.  The online profile is designed to allow mentors to hide their profile, while saving their information, for future participation.  The profile can be easily reactivated at a future date.
  • Please keep in mind that all students, even first-years, are encouraged to join Pathways. If you would prefer to mentor students from a specific class year, indicate this in your profile.
  • You will receive an email letting you know that a student has selected you as a mentor. This email will invite you to review the student's mentee profile and either confirm or decline the request. If you accept, you can then expect to receive an introductory email from your student (initial contact is the responsibility of the student). We invite you to begin your communication with an introduction about yourself: where you work, what you do, your professional interests.
  • Use the materials in the Helpful Forms and Guides section to guide your mentoring partnership agreement, first meeting agenda and initial discussions.