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Collaboration & Capacity Building

Mapping Network Growth

Know your network. Use your Network.

This graphic is part of an essay that you can read at this link.  It describes a need to share ideas from the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC with a growing number of people in Chicago and around the country if we are to achieve long-term success in connecting larger numbers of inner city K-12 youth with adult tutors/mentors through well-organized non-school and school-based tutor/mentor programs.

What is Network Analysis?
If you have not thought much about network analysis, or how networks of people need to work together to solve complex problems, the links below provide a path for your learning.

How does this impact youth?
If you would like to follow our progress in mapping and understanding the Tutor/Mentor Connection network which has grown since 1975 when founder Dan Bassill began his leadership of a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in Chicago, follow the links below.

Understand Geographic Mapping, Too.
Tutor/Mentor Connection has piloted uses of GIS maps since 1994. See ideas here, here, and here.


Links to follow:
*  Social Network Analysis Workspace for Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and Tutor/Mentor Connection - here

*  Read report showing analysis of 1994-2014 Tutor/Mentor Conferences by IVMOOC2015 team at Indiana University. Looking for researchers who will do follow up on this work

* Collaboration and Community building articles - library

* Social Capital articles and research articles - Library

* Articles on Tutor/Mentor Blog. a) Network Building, b) Network Analysis c) Networking

* Social Capital links in Wordpress blog

* Mapping social network using NodeXL - tutorial

* Talent needed to support this work - network map (this could be used as worksheet for any organization)

Work Done to Map Tutor/Mentor Connection Network Growth

* Tutor/Mentor Conference analysis - 2008-2009
* Maps showing Tutor/Mentor Conference participation
* Growth of Ning network from 2007-2012 - Intern project
* Building Networks of Purpose - Building Support
* Example of Network Analysis using Facebook Group . This also is an example of how SNA could demonstrate value of long-term tutor/mentor programs.

New advances in network mapping -
Visit the ICouldBe web site and follow the work they have started to expand social capital and map network growth of their students.

Collect all that is known

When the Tutor/Mentor Connection was created in 1993 one of our goals was to "collect all that is known" about tutoring/mentoring and education-to-careers in a "library" of knowledge that anyone can draw from at any time to help kids from a poverty neighborhood get the adult support they need to move to careers. As the Internet became available, this process began to collect ideas from all over the world.

This "mentoring kids to careers" graphic illustrates the career focused goal of the T/MC. This knowledge map, illustrates the different types of information being collected. This Debategraph outline is another way of trying to engage people from many places in this discussion.   These are  intended to serve as a "blueprint" which anyone can draw from, or contribute to. While we will never map all of the knowledge, the ideas we do collect may reach a tipping point where the broader range of ideas leads to more comprehensive solutions applied in more places around the world to help kids move out of poverty and into jobs and careers.

In 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC was created to support the continued operations of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago and to help similar intermediary groups form in other cities. Throughout our web sites you'll see the names Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute used interchangeably. They both focus on the same mission but represent a non profit and a for-profit structure for generating resources.

Read more about the T/MC goals in the Vision and Mission sections


The StarFish and the Spider

The book titled, The Starfish and the Spider,  illustrates the T/MC role as a catalyst in building a decentralized network of leaders who support volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.

Role of Catalyst in Building Network. In a book the role of a catalyst who inspires the growth of a decentralized network of people focused on a common goal is described.  This is a role Dan Bassill, founder of the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) (1993-present) and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (2011 to present) has taken since 1975. The chart below illustrates how volunteers and leaders reaching into their own networks on a regular basis, can draw volunteers, donors, partners, etc. to information hubs like the http://www.tutormentorexchange.net web site, then on to various neighborhoods in Chicago, or any other city, where they become volunteers, donors, leaders, etc. at existing programs, or where they help form new programs to fill voids.  In a single program, where each volunteer works one-on-one with a student, and all students are different, this same concept applies. The volunteer is accessing all of the resources of the program, and fellow volunteers, to find ways to help the youth take charge of his/her own future.

Creating Network of Purpose. A Shared Effort

The Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC seeks to connect non profits, businesses, media and other stakeholders in a virtual network that supports the growth of comprehensive, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in cities all over the country.

Over the years interns have helped us create a variety of visual presentations that share our strategies. If you review these and discuss them with your own planning team you'll build your own understanding and see ways to apply these ideas in your own community.  The complete set of essays can be found in the Library on this site.

A few introductory essays are listed below.

Read latest blog on leadership strategies


These articles illustrate Tutor/Mentor Connection ideas:

  1. Creating a Network of Purpose – The Tutor/Mentor Connection
  2. Role of Tutor/Mentor Connection, and Intermediaries, in a Community Building Strategy
  3. Introduction to Tutor/Mentor Connection and Four-Part Strategy - Prezi created by Intern in 2012
  4. Role of talent volunteer (pro bono consultants, other) in building network of programs
  5. Tutoring/Mentoring as a form of Service-Learning
  6. Growing the Tutor/Mentor Learning Network
  7. Collaboration Goals
  8. Tutor/Mentor Connection Quarterly Events. Creating year round visibility. YouTube video
  9. View videos on Tutor/Mentor Institute Theater page

Can you help us build this village of support for kids living in high poverty neighborhoods?


Conferences, Networking, On-line Forums

Within the Resource Library on this web site there are more than 2000 links. Each of these has links to many other sites. This is a worldwide network of people and organizations with common interests.  From 1994 to 2015 we used May and November Chicago Conferences, and a variety of on-line forums, to build connections between these different groups, and to create public awareness that draws more viewers to each web site, and draws volunteers and donors to  youth serving organizations in Chicago and in other cities. Since 2015 social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin, have served this purpose.

Visit Conferences and Forums to learn more.

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