Pairs communicate 15-20 minutes weekly during MentorNet's four-month mentoring cycle in which 16 prompts are presented for discussion. Following a cycle, protégés may invite their current mentor or a new one to begin a new mentorship. As the protégé advances, MentorNet provides prompts relevant to their current educational level and personal interests.
STEM professionals and students in higher education create individual profiles on MentorNet's platform in response to questions about themselves and about their desired match. This profile information is incorporated into match recommendations in support of high-quality mentorships.
Before entering into mentorships as mentors and protégés, all STEM professionals and students are required to complete a brief online training program on the basics of mentoring, effective communication, and setting appropriate expectations and boundaries.
Once training is complete, protégés are presented with three (3) mentors based on matching of their profiles. Of note, mentors' and protégés' profiles are not publicly visible to the entire MentorNet community. Rather, protégés and mentors are introduced only through MentorNet's recommendation process.
The protégé selects a mentor and initiates the mentorship via a personalized email invitation. The selected mentor reviews the protégé's profile and may accept or decline. If the mentor declines, MentorNet recommends an additional STEM professional and the protégé is, again, presented with (3) potential mentors.
When a mentor accepts a protégé's invitation, a four-month mentoring cycle is launched. Together the protégé and mentor determine the best meeting times in relation to their schedules and may communicate using MentorNet's on-platform chat interface or by Skype, Google Hangouts, email, phone, or text.
The pair receives weekly topics, called "prompts," to guide their discussions. MentorNet's prompts are customized to reflect the protégé's educational level and focus on topics that support student success and persistence in achieving a STEM degree and career.
As our protégés graduate and become STEM professionals, MentorNet encourages them to rejoin as mentors. And MentorNet encourages the ongoing participation of our STEM professionals as master mentors.  As our community grows, we are advancing our mission "to foster a prevalent culture of mentoring in STEM that empowers individuals to persist and succeed in their fields.
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