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Mentorship FAQ

How should I select my mentorship?
Will I receive a grade or credit for my mentorship?
Will attending Mentorship Immersion help my student get into Vanderbilt University?
What is the cancellation policy?
What does it mean to be placed on a waiting list?
Will I be able to select my own independent research topic?
What if my test scores are not in the 90th percentile?
Will my mentor guide me in my high school coursework projects, personal decisions, and career and college advice? What is the role of my mentor and peer guide?
Can I double up and use a high school course project as a project for this mentorship, too?
Am I required to attend office hours as well as the 2 hour per week course times?

How should I select my mentorship?

We recommend that you choose your mentorship based on what interests you. Remember, you will be studying the topic you select in-depth for six months and completing an individual project. Select a mentorship that excites you! We encourage you to rank as many mentorships as you have interest but be sure that any mentorship that you rank on your application is something you would be willing to explore in-depth. Showing interest by ranking more than one mentorship opportunity will not decrease your chances of being placed in your top-ranked mentorship. However, ranking more than one mentorship experience may increase your overall chances for placement in the program after the review process.

Will I receive a grade or credit for my mentorship?

No. Programs for Talented Youth does not give grades or award credit for any of our programs, including Mentorship Immersion. We want you to stretch your intellectual capacity without fear of failure. In Mentorship Immersion your mentor will evaluate your progress and you will receive an evaluation report from your mentor after the program. Additionally, you will receive a lot of formative feedback from your mentor throughout the program. The end of the program evaluation will detail your progress on a variety of factors and aims to give you a broad picture of your academic growth throughout the experience as well as feedback on your final product/project.

Will attending Mentorship Immersion help my student get into Vanderbilt University?

No. Admission to PTY’s Mentorship Immersion program is not an indicator of admission to Vanderbilt University. The goal of Mentorship Immersion is to provide an opportunity to learn more about a particular field and complete independent research or a project with support from a content expert.

What is the cancellation policy?

Tuition for Mentorship Immersion is due December 15. After this date, no refunds will be provided if a student must cancel participation. The application fee is nonrefundable for all applicants regardless of admission or placement in a mentorship.

What does it mean to be placed on a waiting list?

Being placed on a waiting list means a student is eligible for the program, but there is not a space available in the particular mentorship experience the student is interested in. A waiting list is retained for all full mentorship opportunities. Students who we are unable to offer a place in a particular mentorship due to space will be placed on a waiting list.

Those applying to mentorships before November 3 who are not offered a place in the mentorship through the competitive review process will be placed on a waiting list for the mentorship, if eligible. A student’s placement on a waiting list will be randomly assigned for applications received before November 3. Eligible students who apply after November 3 will be placed on the waiting list based on the date/time of application receipt.

Programs for Talented Youth will contact you if a spot opens off the waiting list.

If you are placed in a lower ranked mentorship, you will remain on the waiting list for higher ranked mentorships. Your enrollment will be moved to a higher ranked mentorship if a spot becomes available. Be sure to rank only mentorships for which you are willing to take.

Will I be able to select my own independent research topic?

The Mentorship Immersion program’s culminating project/independent research is determined after collaborating with your mentor. Once the mentorship begins, each mentor will define the parameters around the culminating experience. Mentors will be asking their mentees to participate in a research project or culminating product that relates to the field of the mentorship focus. For example, a creative writing mentorship might include a final project of an anthology while mentorship in nanoscience might include a paper or research related to the field. Therefore, after placement, it is up to the mentor and mentee to discuss a project that is appropriate for the experience, includes the mentor’s expertise that can be used to support the project, and is exciting to the mentee. Therefore, you are not required to have an idea for your research/project at the start of the program. The program is designed so that you are working together with your mentor to develop the project that you are excited about once the criteria have been shared by the mentor.

What if I do not have SAT, ACT, or PSAT scores because of delays in testing related to COVID?

We understand that COVID might have impacted certain students’ ability to take the SAT, ACT, PSAT, or other end of year tests. If you do not have scores available for one of these tests, you can submit end of the year state tests from earlier years or a cognitive measure. We also accept AP exams if they are related to the mentorship field in which you are applying. Additionally, we accept a variety of tests that have national percentiles and we accept scores that are up to three years old. If you have questions concerning the test scores that you have available and/or what types of test scores PTY accepts, please contact pty.peabody@vanderbilt.edu.

What if my test scores are not in the 90th percentile?

PTY does not have cutoffs for standardized test scores in order to apply to the program. When reviewing mentorship applications, we evaluate students’ test scores as one component of the application in addition to a student’s transcript, resume, and essay.

Do I have to present my independent research/project on-campus and in person at the end of the mentorship experience?

No, you will not be required to present your independent research/project on campus. You will have a virtual option to present to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and content experts in a setting similar to the way an academic virtual conference may be held. Both on campus and virtual options will be fully explained once the program has started.

Will my mentor guide me in my high school coursework projects, personal decisions, and career and college advice? What is the role of my mentor and peer guide?

Mentorship Immersion is an academic mentorship. Your mentor is a content expert in a specific discipline. As such, this mentorship is designed to provide you with an immersive experience in a field of potential interest for you. Your mentors and peer guides have been asked to provide content area instruction, share with you what it takes to be successful in their particular field, pathways for engaging in the field, and help you design a quality product or project of interest in a way a professional or college student may approach the topic. In most instances your peer guide is a college student who is currently moving toward becoming an expert in the field and was likely in your situation just a few years prior. Your mentor and peer guide may talk about their personal career path and career journey or discuss the level of academic preparation required in their field. Mentors and peer guides are not equipped to offer college or career counseling, college application essay advice, high school tutoring, life coaching, or personal counseling. They are more than willing to help you with your final product, discuss the content delivered in the course, or answer any questions you might have about how they personally have engaged in the field, the current status of their field, or what they perceive as the necessary components to be successful in their given area.

Can I double up and use a high school course project as a project for this mentorship, too?

In most instances, this is not acceptable. Generally speaking, using the same project for two different courses is a violation of an academic honor code. Original work is expected. Additionally, the criteria for your high school course and the mentorship are likely to be different in scope and on different timelines. There are times when expanding upon a topic of interest previously started is appropriate. We suggest that you are up front with your mentor and high school instructor should you want to continue to add to a project or topic that you have been researching in one course and use it in another. This will be decided on a case by case basis.

Am I required to attend office hours as well as the 2 hour per week course times?

If accepted and enrolled, you are expected to attend the 2 hour weekly meetings as indicated. You are not required to attend the additional office hour each week. The extra office hour allotted each week is designed so that you have more time with your academic mentor and peer guide as needed so that they may answer any questions you may have about the content area. As you continue to work on your project, your mentor may require that you meet individually or in small groups outside of the allotted and regularly scheduled class time to discuss your progress. This will likely occur later in the spring when you have a better idea of your project direction. The time and day of the weekly office hour will be determined based on cohort availability during the first course meeting. The Mentor will survey the cohort and identify a time potentially everyone is available. The time could change based on unanimous vote.