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The former NC Graduation Project (NCGP) Implementation Guide describes the role of NCGP mentor in the following manner."A graduation project mentor is a community and/or faculty member who has expertise and experience with the project topic and accepts the following responsibilities:
- Allocates time and makes arrangements to work with the student on the project.
- Provides suggestions and advice to the student on applicable aspects of the research paper, product, portfolio, and oral presentation.
- Provides accurate and honest verification of the student's work.
- Serves as a support and resource to the student in all stages of the graduation project process.
- Signs and returns all required forms.
Anyone from the community who is 21 years of age or older and is considered to be an expert in the field a student is researching for the project may serve as a graduation project mentor. The mentor may not be a household family member. Best practices indicate that all school volunteers should be scrutinized for their appropriateness in working with students. This also applies to graduation project mentors."
The mentor experience is a key aspect of the NCGP. It is one of the ways the student will have a window on the world of work and actually see what it is like to be and/or interact with professionals in a given field. A part of the intent of the project is to expose and attract students to the myriad of career possibilities that exist in any given field. In addition, the experience may motivate students to complete their public school education and go beyond to higher education or other training with a clear purpose or desire in mind for their future career.
If everyone involved exercises adequate communication and flexibility, the mentor experience should be relatively easy and beneficial to everyone participating in the process. It is the intent of the project that, in addition to students, mentors will feel the experience was worthwhile and beneficial to them as well. The following question and answer format is designed to provide mentors, students, educators and parents with a sense of how the mentor experience should be carried out and to help clarify the relationship and responsibilities of those involved with the NCGP.