Launching the European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring
During the summit, the official launching of the European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring took place: a "network that brings into line and supports practitioners, coordinators of mentor programmes and researchers to share knowledge, practices and powerful stories with the aim of improving mentoring practices across the lifespan".
An active network of practitioners and researchers
During the European Mentoring Summit of 17 and 18 March 2016, practitioners and researchers talked about mentoring as a powerful way of guidance, apprenticeship and development. Mentoring is effective under certain conditions and if applied according proven methods and practices.
Over the last couple of years the network of practitioners and researchers in Europe has been strengthened. This has led to a declaration on mentoring at the Summit. The participants present at the research colloquium on March 18th 2016, expressed the importance of and the intention to collaborate in an European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring.
You can download the document HERE to read a summary of the discussion that took place. The purpose of this document is to inform participants and other interested parties.
Collaboration between the EU and US Centers
During the European Mentoring Summit, MentorProgramma Friesland and its partner institutions VET Friesland College, VET Friese Poort, Stenden University of Applied Sciences and NHL University of Applied Sciences launched the European Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. This Center is geared at conducting research in Europe, in close collaboration with the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring in the United States. Professor J. Rhodes of the University of Massachusetts Boston contributes to the scientific basis of the Center by becoming ‘visiting professor’ in the European Center.
The European Center is an organization for research and knowledge development, that also supplies academic assignments for students in vocational and higher education. Professors, PhD and master students with mentoring focus form the scientific core of the knowledge hub. By regular exchange of researchers and students, the state-of-the-art research results are exchanged between the US and Europe and within Europe.
In September 2015, the educational institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Professor Jean Rhodes, director of MENTOR/UMB Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring, Mr. W. Kooyker, chairman of the board of MENTOR National Mentoring Partnership and with Mr. D. Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. The MOU is a milestone for the starting collaboration between the Center in the US and the European Center.
Why setting up a Center for mentoring?
Mentoring is a proven instrument! Not only due to tackling youth unemployment, early school leaving, low attractiveness of vocational education, but also by contributing to excellence in study career and entrepreneurial behavior. Research shows that both mentee and mentor benefit from the relationship. The impact transcends therefore the personal level; schools and participating companies and institutions benefit mentoring through the creation of networks and connections. Thus, the participants contribute to the vitality of their region.
Research on quality, methodology and effectiveness of mentoring is still in its infancy in Europe. Investigation of the influence of mentoring on the above-mentioned development areas is important in order to achieve an optimum design of mentoring. The increasing mobility of young people as well as their need for ongoing mentoring asks for an international approach and a cross-border network in Europe.
The European Center aims at increasing the impact of mentoring for all stakeholders, at a multiple levels. This calls for continued research into the effects of operations and focus on improvement. Focus on research and knowledge development in the field of mentoring as well as applying new knowledge will contribute directly to this impact. The aim of the Center is to increase the effectiveness of mentoring at different levels by conducting research and applying new knowledge to our own mentoring programmes and those of our partners.
Why in Friesland ?
MentorProgramma Friesland has been conducting research on the effects of its own program for several years. It is a programme with a long history and experience: since 1997. Thus, the ambition has grown to generate more knowledge about mentoring, unlock it and make it available for the European mentoring field. The programme in the North of the Netherlands is a joint venture of VET’s and Universities of Applied Sciences. This collaboration provides an excellent basis from which research can take shape. Applied research is a natural step, together with mentoring programmes, with the possibility to organize mentoring in and around the schools.