Cory Kerr mentors a student during his vector graphics class.

Whether you teach in a classroom, supervise student-employees, or work alongside students, every employee at BYU-Idaho is a mentor. To more effectively mentor students to aid them in becoming disciples of Jesus Christ, the Student Success Council has created a website for BYU-Idaho employees: If you aren’t quite sure how to help a student, this new website contains great information and links to resources that will help you make an impact in students’ lives.

“Mentoring is a really important idea right now throughout higher education,” said Scott Galer, associate academic vice president over Student Success.

But the idea behind mentoring has been a hallmark of BYU-Idaho long before it became mainstream. Mentorship stemmed from former Ricks College and BYU-Idaho President David A. Bednar’s teaching that “every employee is a teacher.”

“We’re really trying to promote the idea that it isn’t only faculty members or academic advisors who are mentors—it’s everybody. And that’s why we have built this website as a resource,” Galer said.

At the top of the new webpage, it states, “All BYU-Idaho Employees Are Mentors.” So what does it mean to mentor? At BYU-Idaho, mentors minister, teach, and advise to help students become “disciples of Jesus Christ who are leaders in their homes, the Church, and their communities.”

Employees or faculty members that come into contact with students on a daily basis have the ability to make a difference in the lives of students. Although positions and responsibilities vary, the greatest tool employees have and must seek is the Spirit’s guidance.

“Though we have worked extensively to develop this website to make it the best it can possibly be for faculty and employees who are seeking help for their students,” Galer said, “it’s still a work in progress. The Student Success Council welcomes ideas for improvement.”

The new webpage outlines four guiding mentoring principles:

• Teach in ways that edify and inspire

• Prepare students for meaningful employment opportunities

• Minister to individual students

• Connect students with helpful university resources

While employees may have ample experience teaching and ministering to students, the last step—connecting the student to the resources they need—is key.

“Mentoring requires collaboration. Don’t go it alone,” said Jed Rhien, university communications strategy coordinator. “Please don’t do this alone. There are other people who can help.”

Additionally, the mentoring webpage contains the answers to four main mentoring areas:

“Who Can I Mentor?”

“How Do I Mentor?”

“Who Can Help My Students?”

“Emergency Mentoring Situations”

The mentoring website also introduces a new tool in I-Plan for faculty. Each instructor can access an official list of students enrolled in their sections and find at-risk students who might not make it through a course or semester without some extra help.

“One thing we have found is that a lot of students who are struggling academically are not struggling due to academic deficiencies. They might just be having some personal problems or financial problems, and when they start to form a human connection with a mentor, and learn about resources that can help them, they start to think, ‘yeah, I can do this,’” Galer said. “We hope that this new website will be a resource for faculty, to help them recognize which students might benefit from just a little bit of personal contact from them. We also hope this resource will help faculty reach out to students they otherwise might not reach out to—not because of negligence, but simply because they might not be aware that the student needs a little extra help.”

But it’s not just the students on the class roll or the students struggling academically who need a mentor.

“Mentoring can be formal and informal. In this current initiative, we are advocating the idea of informal mentoring, where mentor and protégé relationships are formed spontaneously—especially in the classroom or workplace. These can be even more impactful than formal mentoring,” Galer said.

“Mentoring occurs most often outside of the classroom whether you are faculty or not,” Rhien said. “Focus on the students in front of you! Student employees and interns, student clients, students in your current class, and students who call, email, or just bump into you.”