Technical Assistance

If you have questions about our technical assistance (TA) service, we have answers! View our Technical Assistance FAQs below, and if you find that your question has not been answered, please contact our office at 804-828-1536 or email Sarah at sarah@mentorva.org.

Technical Assistance FAQs

Is TA really FREE for my organization?

Yes! When you submit an application for technical assistance (TA) through the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) and are granted TA, you can access one-on-one consultation with a highly-experienced consultant who can help you with various aspects of your program at no cost to you. This is because costs for TA through the NMRC are covered by a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Each mentoring program can only access up to 50 free hours of TA each year through the NMRC.

What can I get help with through TA?

Through TA, our team of highly-skilled TA Consultants are able to deliver the help that each program most needs. In general, mentoring programs can request assistance in any of the following areas:

  • Mentor Recruitment
  • Mentor Screening
  • Mentor/Mentee Training
  • Matching
  • Monitoring and Support
  • Match Closure
  • Program Design
  • Program Management/Operations
  • Program Evaluation

Where do I go to submit an application to request TA?

All TA request applications must be submitted through the National Mentoring Resource Center’s TTA360 Portal. For step-by-step instructions on how to submit your TA request application, see the Requestor Guide. Alternatively, you can watch this Youtube video for instructions.

How much information do I need to include in my TA application?

The more information you include about your program and your current needs on your TA application, the better! With that said, we understand that you are busy. TA applications are designed to be accessible to everyone who needs TA assistance, which means you don’t have to treat the TA application the same way you would a formal grant proposal. Please try to provide at least 3-4 sentences for each of the long-answer questions so we can understand your program and your needs. 

Keep in mind that TA request applications that don’t have enough information may be denied by the national processing center, which MENTOR Virginia doesn’t have any say in. If you have questions about what to include in your TA application, reference the Requestor Guide or email Sarah at sarah@mentorva.org.

How long will I have to wait after submitting my application before I begin to receive TA services?

After you have submitted an application through the National Mentoring Resource Center’s portal, your application must be processed by the national office, at which point the national office will assign your TA request to MENTOR Virginia. This process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Once MENTOR Virginia has been assigned to your TA request, we can begin the initial steps of delivering TA services to you. For more on what the TA process entails, see below.

If I am having trouble submitting my TA application, what should I do?

The TA application process is run entirely by the National Mentoring Resource Center. If you are experiencing problems with your application, the first place to look for help is the Requestor Guide, which provides helpful information about all steps of the TA process, including submitting your TA application. If you find that your question has not been answered, you can reach out to Sarah at sarah@mentorva.org. If Sarah is not able to answer your question, the final step will be to email the OJJDP Help Desk at ojjdptta@usdoj.gov.

How will I know that my TA application has been submitted successfully?

When your TA application has been submitted successfully through the National Mentoring Resource Center’s website, you should receive a confirmation email that tells you that your application was submitted for processing. If you don’t receive this confirmation email (be sure to check your spam folder!), this typically means that you did not submit the application and will need to try again. If you attempt to submit the application several times but don’t receive a confirmation email, then you should refer to the steps listed above under the question “If I am having trouble submitting my TA application, what should I do?”

How do I know if TA is right for me and my organization right now?

TA services are meant to be accessible to every mentoring program that needs them and could benefit from consultation with an expert in the field of youth mentoring. Through TA, we are able to assist newly-developing mentoring programs as well as programs that have been established for many years as they seek to make quality improvements. For start-up mentoring programs, TA is most beneficial when the program has developed a preliminary mission statement, knows who they want to serve, and has conducted a needs assessment to make sure they are not duplicating services that already exist in their area. To discuss further whether TA is right for you and your organization right now, please contact Sarah at sarah@mentorva.org.

How many hours of free TA can I access through the NMRC?

TA is provided through the National Mentoring Resource Center by a grant from OJJDP. Because of this, the TA process follows the OJJDP’s grant cycle, which goes from October-October every year. In any given year of the grant cycle, mentoring programs can access up to 50 hours of free TA through the NMRC. In general, programs won’t be able to access all 50 hours at one time through one TA request. Typically, when a program submits a TA request, they will be granted up to 30 hours of TA. If those 30 hours are expended but the program still has unmet needs, the mentoring program can apply again for another round of TA and be granted up to another 20 hours. At the start of each new grant cycle, mentoring programs can access another 50 hours of TA. Hours unused from the previous year do not roll over.

The only exception to this is for mentoring programs that receive grant funding from OJJDP. These mentoring programs may be able to access more than 50 hours of TA in a given grant cycle, depending on needs and the availability of services.

If I know that I need more hours of consultation than TA through the NMRC will allow, what should I do?

If you think that your mentoring program will require more TA hours than you can access through the NMRC (50 hours each year), then you have options. We recommend that you utilize all the hours that you can through the NMRC, because this TA is free for you. If you need additional hours beyond those provided through the NMRC, then it’s possible to contract directly with MENTOR Virginia for additional TA hours. Keep in mind that any additional contracting services outside of the NMRC come at a cost to the mentoring program that will be determined with MENTOR Virginia on a case-by-case basis. If you want to skip the TA process through the NMRC altogether and go straight to contracting directly with MENTOR Virginia, this is also possible. If you want to discuss these options further, please contact Sarah at sarah@mentorva.org.

How does the TA process work from start to finish?

Step 1: You submit a TA request application through the NMRC’s TTA360 Portal on behalf of your mentoring program.

Step 2: MENTOR Virginia is assigned to your TA request. A staff member from MENTOR Virginia calls you to discuss your request in more detail. Around the same time, you will complete your Initial Needs Assessment, which will be emailed to you. *Note, the MOU cannot be created until you have completed your Initial Needs Assessment.

Step 3: MENTOR Virginia will create an MOU, which is really more of a statement of intent, that lists out all the assistance that will be provided during the TA request. You will have to sign off on this MOU before TA consultation can begin.

Step 4: Your TA consultant will begin to deliver TA consultation services to you. This will look different for every TA request, and will be customized to meet your program’s needs and your individual working styles.

Step 5: Ideally, all of the TA hours you were granted through NMRC (up to 30 per request) will be provided to you over a period of no more than 6 months. Once TA has wrapped up, you will be asked to complete a Requestor Evaluation, sent through email. You must complete this evaluation before you can be granted any additional TA through the NMRC in the future.

Step 6: Three months after your TA has wrapped up, you will receive an email requesting that you complete a Post Assessment.

For more information about our quality improvement service called the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS), visit our NQMS Quality Partners page. To learn more about our team of TA Consultants, please see our Staff page.