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Participation and Responsibilities

Participation and Eligibility

All CEE undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate in the mentoring program on a voluntary basis and regardless of campus location. 

Alumni mentors serve on a voluntary basis and are alumni of Penn State's Civil and Environmental program. They represent the wide range of career opportunities in Civil Engineering and are successful professionals in the respective disciplines. 

Roles and Responsibilities

To begin the student-mentor relationship, both parties should work together to establish the goals and expectations of the student. The pair should establish parameters for the relationship, such as preferred appointment time and frequency and most convenient methods of communication. If either the mentor or the student finds the match to be less than effective, it is his or her responsibility to approach the Mentoring Board to discuss the issues and possibly find another better suited mentor. A successful mentoring relationship is directly proportional to the quality of the effort from each of the participants. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that the participants hold themselves and each other accountable for the success of the relationship. 

Below is a general breakdown of the roles and responsibilities of students and mentors. For more, refer to the documents referenced in the handbook, designed to assist students and mentors in establishing and effectively cultivating a student-mentor relationship. 

Open communication is the foundation of a productive student-mentor relationship. It should be fun but professional. Students should be enthusiastic and assertive in communicating their individual interests and needs. One of the best ways a Mentor can help and assist a student is to provide real world insights and real working situations that the student could use in the preparation for their careers via course selection or summer work experience. Students should take advantage of this asset by asking questions about the workplace and how best to prepare for their specific career choice. 

Students may discuss a range of topics with mentors, from school work and career goals to extra-curricular activities and relationships with other students, faculty, and staff. However, remember that while mentors play many different roles throughout the relationship, the mentor is not a parent or counselor. Most importantly, students must keep their commitments and remember that their mentors have volunteered this time to be of service to them. 

The main objectives of a mentor are to aid the student in developing career skills, assist the student in understanding the day to day activities of a professional in the particular field choice, and aiding the student in being prepared for their career choice. Most importantly, the mentor must foster an environment of open communication. Regular contact is best for developing the kind of relationship conducive to such communication either by face to face meetings or correspondence through phone or email. 

Mentors must keep in mind that students have different personalities and needs. As a result each individual may require different kinds of support from their mentors. To develop a positive working relationship, the mentor should develop an understanding of the student's needs and adjust accordingly.

Mentor/Mentee Registration/Sign-in


The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, established in 1881, is internationally recognized for excellence in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate engineers through the integration of education, research, and leadership.

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

212 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1408

Phone: 814-863-3084