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Mentoring Online Courses

What is a mentor?

A Mentor is someone dedicated to helping other amateurs expand their knowledge and skill in Emergency Communications and other technical subjects important to the amateur community.

Mentors are also expected to keep themselves current with the course material as it is updated over time, but this doesn’t mean that you have to know every detail. When a student asks a question, you can look up the answer in your own course material or ask for assistance from other mentors to make sure you’re delivering the right answer. Teachers have known for years that the best way to learn something is to teach it. Mentoring is the next best thing since you get questions about the material you may never have thought about. Mentoring is sure to stretch your knowledge in ways you never expected.


  • What does a CEP online course mentor do?

    The ARRL’s online Continuing Education Program is made up of self-study courses. All of the necessary material and practice quizzes are included in each Learning Unit so students can get the information, test their knowledge, and get immediate feedback about how well they understand it. No self-study course is perfect though, so it’s necessary to have mentors available to help students go beyond the material and to clarify concepts, create perspective, and provide assistance where needed. True understanding is never the result of just reading and taking multiple choice test questions, so most courses include student activities that emphasize practical application of the knowledge they’ve gained. A computer cannot review student activities. A person, a mentor, needs to review what the student submits to determine if it really demonstrates understanding. Sometimes a very simple error or oversight in a submitted activity will become an obvious teaching point that helps the student learn more about what they are studying. Mentoring requires a commitment to spend some time every day so that you can be responsive to your students. As a general rule, when a student asks a question or submits an activity, the mentor should respond within 1-2 days so that the student gets feedback while the topic is still fresh in his or her mind. Mentors usually spend 15 minutes a day per student on average reviewing student questions and activities and following up on student progress. A small stipend helps to offset the cost of phone calls, equipment maintenance, or other expenses a mentor may have.

    Review our Resources for Online Mentors for more information on the mentor's role and responsibilities for supporting students in our online courses.

  • How do I become an online course Mentor?

    Mentors who want to support students in the online course environment must:

    • Possess sufficient computer skills and Internet savvy to interact with online course students and other mentors
    • Maintain adequate computer equipment
    • Be an ARRL member
    • Successfully complete the Mentor Familiarization Course that provides orientation for giving instruction in the online environment.

    To become a mentor, send a request to the Continuing Education Program Administrator at Tell us which courses you would like to mentor and provide a list of your qualifications. Mentoring for the Emergency Communications EC-001 course requires a very specific list of qualifications, detailed below.  You'll need to complete an online application form.




  • Special requirements to mentor Intro to EmComm (EC-001)

    ARRL's Emergency Communications training courses cover a wide range of material on the use of radio communications technologies, communications techniques and emergency management skills necessary when helping served agencies deal with and overcome disasters.

    Mentors for the Introduction to Emergency Communications course must meet the following qualifications:


    • ARRL Member
    • Active Radio Amateur
    • 18 years of age or older
    • Completion of ARRL Introduction to Emergency Communication (EC-001)
    • Completion of ARRL Public Service and Emergency Communications Management for Radio Amateurs (EC-016)
    • Completion of online learning platform (Moodle) training and Online Mentor Familiarization Course
    • General, Advanced, or Extra class license
    • Completion of Skywarn training
    • Active experience in Public Service/ARES field operations
    • Recommendation of ARRL Section Manager

    ·        Completion of  the following FEMA courses:

    o   ICS-100.c  Introduction to the Incident Command System

    o   ICS-200.b ICS for Single Incidents and Initial Action Incidents

    o   IS-700.b NIMS (National Incident Management System): An Introduction

    o   IS-800.c: National Response Framework:An Introduction· 


     FEMA Professional Development Series, which includes:

    o   IS-120.c - An Introduction to Exercises

    o   IS-230.d - Fundamentals of Emergency Management

    o   IS-235.c - Emergency Planning

    o   IS-240.b - Leadership & Influence

    o   IS-241.b - Decision Making and Problem Solving

    o   IS-242.b - Effective Communication

    o   IS-244.b - Developing and Managing Volunteers

    Desirable experience for this role:

    • Professional experience in emergency response or communications field
    • Extensive amateur radio experience
    • Professional experience as trainer or educator

    In addition to requirements listed above, all Mentors for CEP online courses must :

    • Possess sufficient computer skills and Internet savvy to interact with online course students and other mentors
    • Maintain adequate computer equipment
    • Successfully complete the Mentor Familiarization Course that provides orientation for giving instruction in the online environment.

    Guidelines and Requirements

    • Appointment as an ARRL Field Instructor or Mentor for ARRL’s Public Service/EmComm training program is for a term of 3 years. This is a renewable appointment based on satisfactory performance as an active instructor/mentor and satisfaction of all current qualifications and requirements.*
    • Failure to comply with FI/Mentor qualifications and guidelines and to the standard of conduct expected of a volunteer representing the ARRL will result in termination of service in the role.  Also, ARRL reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate this relationship at any time, with or without any reason or cause.

     *Individuals currently registered as an ARECC Field Instructor or as an ARECC Online Mentor have been assigned a term end date based on their recent date of registration with the program. For example a mentor or FI who completed documentation to register with the program in April 23, 2011 will have an appointment end date of April 23, 2014.  The ARRL Continuing Education Program office will issue badges and/or certificates reflecting the term of the current appointment as an ARECC FI or as an ARECC Mentor to those who have been actively serving in these capacities over the past year, and as new appointees become active. As stated above, at the close of their current term, registered ARECC FIs and Mentors will need to meet all current qualifications/requirements to re-enlist for a new term of service.



    Learn More

  • Where do I find the Online Mentor Guide I need to read to prepare to be an online mentor?

    There is a resoucre page specifically for online mentors that provides an overview of the role and responsiblities of an ARRL online course mentor, along with tips to help you be successful in supporting students: Resources for Online Mentors

    Learn More


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