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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Department of Corrections Mentoring Initiative

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions associated with mentoring and the Department of Corrections. Please browse through the questions to see if there is an answer to the question you have.

If you still can’t find the information you’re looking for, please feel free to contact the Office of Re-Entry.



What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-to-one relationship based on encouragement, constructive comments, openness, mutual trust, respect, and a willingness to learn and share. It exists between a more experienced employee (sometimes, but not necessarily, a supervisor) and a less experienced employee (e.g. a student).

What do mentors do?

The mentor is a model, a motivator and a counselor to the student. The mentor's responsibilities include:

  • helping the student set long-term career goals and short-term learning objectives;
  • helping the student understand the organizational culture;
  • recommending and/or creating learning opportunities;
  • transferring knowledge in areas such as communication, critical thinking, responsibility, flexibility, and teamwork;
  • pointing out strengths and areas for development;
  • answering any questions;
  • providing guidance on personal matters such as apartment hunting for out-of-town students; and
  • being available to support the student in an employment search after their studies are completed.

What makes a good mentor?

Mentors, while often very different in personality or management style, have several characteristics in common. A good mentor:

  • is an established employee;
  • understands the organization and its culture;
  • understands the aims of the student employment programs in the federal public service;
  • is available and willing to spend time with the student, giving appropriate guidance and feedback;
  • enjoys helping others;
  • is open-minded;
  • is flexible, empathetic, and encouraging;
  • has very good communications skills; and
  • stimulates the student's thinking and reflection.

How does mentoring benefit the mentor?

The opportunity to:

  • develop a relationship with a student;
  • contribute to a student's development;
  • develop leadership skills;
  • reflect upon one's own career;
  • share experience and knowledge; and
  • discover new ways of thinking.

How does mentoring benefit the student?

  • increases personal knowledge and organizational awareness;
  • enhances understanding of one's role in the organization;
  • develops an environment that supports constructive criticism;
  • gives wisdom, advice, help and encouragement;
  • helps to establish markers;
  • provides an effective learning tool;
  • provides networking opportunities; and
  • stimulates thinking about potential future employment options.

How does mentoring benefit the department or agency?

  • enhances service delivery because its staff is better informed and more skilled;
  • stimulates the workplace, making it more effective;
  • favors better communication and sharing of values;
  • provides networking opportunities;
  • provides positive supporters who can promote mentoring to other employees/students; and
  • identifies a pool of qualified potential candidates to meet future recruitment needs.

Do I have to fill out an application?

Yes, there is a brief application you can download by clicking here.

Do I get credit for the hours that I participate in Disability Mentoring Day?

Absolutely! When you complete your time sheet information in People First, simply put in the number of hours you mentored. The code is "0044".

Also, fill out your mentoring information on the Mentoring Timesheet and send it to your regional coordinator.

How much time off from work do I have to mentor each week?

You are entitled, with your supervisor’s final approval, to one hour of administrative leave each week and up to five hours per month.