NYSUT SRP Mentor Program

schenectady srps

Is your local interested in developing a peer to peer mentoring program for new members? The NYSUT SRP Mentor Program is designed to help your leadership team develop the skills, identify the resources and create a plan to build this program in your school district.

15 locals will be selected to be trained and receive support to create and/or strengthen a mentoring program in their district. Teams must include the president, the LRS and 2 other participants who will assist in the development and implementation of the mentoring program. School district administration are welcome to join your team. 

Applications for the winter 2024 cohort are now closed. Check back for updates on upcoming mentor program opportunities.

For more information about mentorship programs, visit check out the guide "Education Support Professionals: Supporting Our Own Through Mentoring" at nea.org

What is mentoring? 

Mentoring for SRPs is a partnership between two individuals that focuses on the common goal of developing an SRP’s personal and professional skills through a strong learning relationship. The mentoring process pairs an employee with a colleague who has the expertise and desire to help the mentee realize their career-related goals. The support offered by a mentor can and should extend beyond what an employee receives from a certification, in-service training, orientation program, on-the-job training, or supervision by a manager. 

Mentoring: More important than ever 

The rapid changes in our world today have made education an increasingly demanding and complex environment. Students from low-income homes are now the majority in U.S. public schools, presenting greater challenges related to housing, medical, and nutritional needs of students. Schools now function as mental health systems, with staff being required to manage social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students. Educators are tasked with interacting with multiple external service organizations, bridging school, home, and community to ensure that the needs of the whole student are addressed. Special education initiatives and individual education plans (IEPs) must be strictly adhered to. Research on multiple forms of intelligence and different learning styles requires that school employees continuously adapt and grow. And while much of the responsibility for these increasingly complex demands fall on SRPs, they still often have had to make do with little to no support. While SRPs account for more than one third of today’s public education workforce, they often have inadequate or nonexistent professional development and training. That is why formal mentoring programs are more important than ever. 


SRPs are equal and essential members in education. They deserve better professional development and supports which includes SRPs supporting SRPs through formal programs of mentoring. This manual program is designed to assist state and local Associations and/or school districts/universities to develop and implement mentoring programs for SRPs. 

Mentoring for SRPs, similar to the long-established mentoring relationships between new and experienced teachers, can help SRPs deal with the growing complexity of their careers and meet the increasing demands placed on education systems. Mentoring for early-career SRPs is especially critical to ensuring seamless integration into their new careers and the education community. 

SRP mentoring programs are essential in order to: 

  • Foster and strengthen the connection between employees and their union. 
  • Support SRPs in the development of personal and professional skills and knowledge from day one and early in their careers. 
  • Ensure that the SRP community has a greater voice in the workplace, more opportunities to build their own professional pathways, and increased abilities at assisting students who are striving for success. 
  • Retain high quality support professionals in the education workforce. 
  • Contribute to the overall mission of closing student achievement gaps. 
  • Elevate all of the SRP careers.