Working Together To Improve Mentoring Data Management!September 26, 2013 Vermont Mentoring Database
Last week marked the official launch of the full version of the Vermont Mentoring Database. Mobius hosted a pair of introductory webinars for mentoring programs across the state that are interested in joining the system. If you were unable to attend one of the webinars, but are interested in learning more, you can watch the recorded video from the Vermont Mentoring Database home page.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the database, there are two levels of access to the system, which are both covered in detail in the introductory webinar:
- A free account (available to all mentoring programs in the state) which many programs have already used or are currently using to update information in the statewide mentoring directory, apply for grant funding from Mobius, and download application and survey templates.
- A paid annual account (click here for pricing details) which will allows programs to store and track ongoing information about your mentors and mentees, including valuable demographic and outcome data. Programs will be able to manage match information, and mentors will both be able to apply and submit information about their mentoring sessions through the system.
Programs that sign up for the paid version of the system will gain access to a data collection system that will help them save staff time, and track results more efficiently and effectively. Mentoring professionals who have been using the system as beta testers have already started to see the benefits.
“We are excited about the streamlined manner of bringing mentors and mentees into the program and tracking their relationships in a cohesive and relevant way,” says Rebecca Majoya, Executive Director of the Mentor Connector in Rutland.
The Mentor Connector, before making the switch, was using a combination of Excel spreadsheets and paper files to store its information. Many programs around the state have similar systems in place, and are welcoming the opportunity to cut down on data entry and staff time. For Rebecca, the changeover has been a huge relief: “It is going to be fabulous to rid ourselves of so much paper, both the expense of it and the storage of it!”
The online mentor application and mentor access level to the system allows for mentors to input most of their own information. Mentors are able to log their mentoring hours and meeting information, as well as take surveys about their mentoring experience. Programs also have the ability to store key demographic information about the youth they serve, which they will be able to generate easily into reports for grants. Any hard copy forms and pictures can be uploaded and stored centrally in each mentor or youth’s file in the system.
Mobius is excited to offer the Vermont Mentoring Database as a resource for programs, but we also realize that the paid version may not be the best fit for everyone. Our goal is for every mentoring program in the state to have access to a quality-based data management system, and we are happy to provide consultation and technical support for programs that are using a different database as well. By working together to improve the ways that data is being collected and managed, we can better track the successes of mentoring (both on a program level and statewide), and free up valuable staff time so that more youth can be matched with mentors.
Do you have any questions about the Vermont Mentoring Database? Would you like to have your program join the full version of the system? I encourage you to visit the database home page on the Mobius website and watch the introductory video, or reach out to me directly: Benji@mentorvt.org