A Mentor is...

The term "Mentor" or "Mentor Teacher" is used by the California Early Childhood Mentor Program to describe an experienced early childhood education teacher of infants, toddlers, preschoolers or school age children who has applied and been selected by her or his local Mentor Program. The Mentor Program, funded by the California Department of Education, Early Education and Support Division, works with 104 community colleges across California. Those colleges, either individually, or working together in regional groupings, invite early childhood leaders from their communities to serve on a Mentor Program Selection Committee. Each Committee uses the guidelines of the Mentor Program to review applications and select Mentors from a variety of child care settings, including publicly and privately funded centers and large family child care programs.

A Mentor does...

A Mentor accepts student teachers into her or his classroom for practicum experience. The Mentor provides a unique one-on-one learning relationship with the student teacher in the practical aspects of both working with young children and acting as a leader and advocate for the child care profession. The Mentor is responsible for guiding a student teacher during all of the laboratory hours required by the practicum course. That means being in the classroom whenever the student teacher is present and meeting with the student teacher weekly to answer the student's questions and discuss Early Childhood Education concepts. Although a Mentor may work with several student teachers during a semester, only one student teacher may be present in the Mentor's classroom at a time. 

What are the rewards?

The Mentor receives a stipend for each student placed in her or his classroom. The stipend amount depends on the number of hours the student teacher spends in the classroom as a requirement of her or his practicum course. Mentors also receive stipends for supporting ECE students in successfully completing their full course of study, regardless of course or subject. In addition to receiving stipends for working with students, Mentors may earn stipends mentoring teachers who have completed practicum courses and in selected settings. Mentors are also supported for their professional development activities through a Mentor In-Service Training Component. Mentors from all placement sites meet once a month in a seminar format. Mentor Seminars combine informal discussion and peer support with more formalized training in supervision strategies, leadership and advocacy skills. Mentors receive a stipend for participation in In-Service Training. 

Contact Us

For more information about the Mentor Program at SC, contact Jeanne Veich, Mentor Coordinator, at jveich@shastacollege.edu