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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Mentor Models

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Types of Mentor Relationships


  • Arranged by the organizational for new or newly-promoted employees and are intended to meet organizational orientation and training needs
  • Often have not met before being assigned to each other
  • Usually arranged for a pre-determined amount of time, often six months to one year
  • Often monitored by the organization, which may require mentors to cover specific orientation information and on-the-job training
  • Rewards for participation as mentors are usually extrinsic involving stipends or other compensation, meaning that there may be less personal investment in the mentee's professional development 
  • (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000)


  • Mentor Match is based on this model
  • Mentors and mentees find each other and mutually negotiate the parameters of their mentoring relationship
  • Mentees usually choose mentors who they view as role models, who have similar professional interests, or share some common personal characteristics
  • Not monitored by the organization and have no informational or training requirements
  • Meetings are usually casual or semi-structured
  • Partnerships continue for the length of time both partners desire to be in the relationship
  • Rewards for participating as mentors are intrinsic, meaning there is a high personal investment in the mentree's development
  • (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000) 


Levels of Involvement

To be mutually agreed upon between mentees and mentors. For more information on doing this, see Suggested Procedures. 


  • Mentor is contacted only when needed; mentee initiates meetings


  • Regular meeting times are set up, intended to be informal and without specific agenda; mentee decides how often and what to talk about


  • Regular meeting times are set up with specific agenda; mentor provides specific information and guidance pre-determined by either mentee or mentor, mentor facilities meetings


[Ragins, B. R., Cotton, J. L., & Miller, J. S. (2000). Marginal mentoring: The effects of type of mentor, quality of relationship, and program design on work and career attitudes. Academy of Management Journal, 43(6), 1177-1194.]

[Sands, R. G., Parson, L. A., & Duane, J. (1991). Faculty mentoring faculty in a public university. Journal of Higher Education, 62(2), 174-193.]