1. Question: What is the time commitment required to participate in the mentoring program?
Answer: Mentors are required to spend time with their mentees weekly through face to face contact. Mentors are also required to advocate on behalf of their mentees. The two semester internship requires a total of 60 mentoring hours. This internship offers mentors flexibility by allowing them to set their own mentoring schedule with the facility and the mentee.
2. Question: What is involved with the academic portion of the internship?
Answer: The academic course of the internship is offered totally on-line through UALR’s Blackboard program. The course consists of required readings and reflective essays throughout the two semesters. Due to the nature of on-line course work, this internship allows students to be flexible and work at their own speed. All students successfully completing both semesters will earn six academic credits.
3. Question: Is there any guidance or direction offered prior to beginning the mentoring portion of the internship?
Answer: All mentors selected to participate in the program must complete a series of trainings prior to meeting with their mentee. First, students will undergo a training seminar designed to teach students how to be an effective mentor. A short overview of the program along with an introduction to the course will accompany the seminar. Second, students will be introduced to DYS policies and procedures. Third, students will be given an orientation and tour of the AJATC facility. In addition to a criminal records check and the above mentioned trainings, students will also be required to pass a HIPPA test before interacting with their mentee.
4. Question: How are the mentors/mentees matched, and do I have any say in who my mentee will be?
Answer: The matches are conducted by the faculty advisor and program coordinator through a series of mentor/mentee interactions. Preferences are taken into consideration; however, ultimately, the matches are left up to the discretion of the faculty advisor and program coordinator. Priority is given to mentee considerations.
5. Question: If I do not pass the criminal records check, can I still participate in the internship?
Answer: DYS policies and procedures mandate all mentors being placed with a DYS incarcerated mentee must pass not only an Arkansas State Police criminal records check but an Arkansas Central Registry Check.
6. Question: Who are the youth participating as mentees in this program?
Answer: All youth participating as mentees are incarcerated in the Division of Youth Services custody at the AJATC facility. They are considered to be high-risk youth who are in need of extra help transitioning out of incarceration back into the community. They are considered to be adjudicated delinquents; thus, this program is not for everyone.