Understanding embedded mentoring

Embedded mentors are trained students who are placed directly into courses to support student learning. While embedded support models are becoming increasingly common, little empirical research has been done to understand who embedded mentors are, what they are able to do in a class space, and what benefits are gained by having them. Responding to this need for more research, a mixed methods study using semi-structured interviews, surveys, and fieldnotes was designed to learn about embedded mentors in two different embedded mentoring programs at one rural four-year public university in northern California . Findings from the data suggest the roles of embedded mentors are dynamic and situational; mentoring has benefits and considerations for faculty, mentors, and students; the purpose of mentors is to positively affect student belonging in college, course success, and identity; and roles and purposes are only sometimes connected by mentors. For future programs, it is recommended that embedded mentors are a part of course design and embedded mentoring is not universally defined. More research should be done at different universities to support or challenge the work done here.