Although the curriculum provides a powerful baseline of conversation and experiences for pairs, mentors and mentees still need additional support to develop strong relationships and achieves the objectives of the program. The advisement program staff provides helps mentors better identify and respond to unexpected challenges their mentees may face, helping ensure these challenges become speed bumps on the road to college success and not roadblocks. iMentor believes that without this high quality pair support, it is unlikely the majority of mentor-mentee pairs would succeed in our program.
What is the Pair Support Quality Rubric?
The Pair Support Quality Rubric is a tool that allows program supervisor to evaluate the quality of pair support by program staff. The rubric is divided into 4 main categories outlined below.
Supervisors of program staff evaluate performance in each category over the course of the program year to date each spring, using values of not meeting expectations, meeting expectations and exceeding expectations. Each value carries a numeric score of 1, 2 and 3, respectively and program staff values are averaged for a final Pair Support Quality Score. Currently, the tool is not directly used for performance management purposes and is instead leveraged to contextualize research conducted on pair experience and outcomes. To gain more context around what a 1, 2, and 3 looks like for each category, please refer to Pair Support Quality Categories.
Why We Use the Pair Support Quality Rubric
The Pair Support Rubric is designed to collect data regarding program staff abilities in providing pair support and that information is leveraged to understand and contextualize differences in outcomes pairs experience. Additionally, data collected through completion of the Pair Support Rubric can be used to determine areas where program staff are strong when it comes to the provision of support and where there is room for growth. Program staff that excel in individual categories of the Pair Support Rubric can be called upon to disseminate best practices with other staff, fostering continuous learning and improvement.
Although the process of evaluating high quality pair support is still under revision, data collected thus far has already yielded valuable insights about the iMentor program. For example, pairs under the purview of program staff who provided above average support (as rated by their supervisor on the rubric) were more likely to meet the online communication and in-person benchmarks. Additionally, as the graph below illustrates, engagement increases as program staff quality of pair support increased.
This may seem like an obvious finding, but it is important to determine whether the Pair Support Quality Rubric is appropriately measuring program staff abilities to manage pairs toward the goals of the iMentor program. Initial research appears to confirm that the tool is a useful resource in identifying program staff that do so, and can therefore yield valuable information regarding staff performance as well as areas where additional development my be necessary.
How to Use the Pair Support Rubric
The Pair Support Rubric can be accessed via the iMentor Platform hamburger menu. You will only see the pair support rubric if you have an Enhanced Member Administrator (EMA) account on the platform. Permissioning built into the platform only allows certain users to access this rubric and information entered therein.
Pair support is evaluated twice each year in January and June. First, select the rating period and the Program Manager (PM) you are currently evaluating.
Each category and subcategory is listed with accompanying descriptions of how No Evidence, Some Evidence, and Clear Evidence are defined for each section. Select the box that best describes how the PM is delivering that aspect of pair support. You will notice that after you make a selection, the platform automatically saves the progress you’ve made.
Scroll down to make selections in each category of pair support. When you are finished rating one PM, scroll back to the top and select the next PM you intend to rate. Your work will be saved without formally “submitting” the rubric.
If you have need support of have any questions, comments or concerns regarding the Pair Support Quality Rubric, click here to contact the Research and Evaluation team.