IBM MentorPlace is a comprehensive and structured online mentoring initiative that matches teachers and students from around the world with volunteer IBM employee-experts in their communities. MentorPlace has local Web sites devoted to communities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the U.S. Each site adapts program components to fit the unique needs and interests of local IBM employees and schools and to link closely with classroom learning.
Most programs feature one-to-one online mentoring between an IBM employee and a student during the school year. And, due to IBM's commitment to higher achievement for all students, programs include every student - rather than select students - in a classroom.
We conducted a formative study on ementoring efforts at two sites - IBM Rochester, Minne., and IBM Watson Research Center in Yorktown, N.Y.- exploring the existing program's strengths and identifying recommendations for future program designs. We later followed up this work by helping IBM develop its core team starter kit and online orientation module from design specification to content development.