The Mentor Practice Profile (MPP)

Connect: Problem solving

Problem solving

Connect puzzle piece

Core Components and Essential Elements

Contribution to Outcome

Proficient (P)

Developmental (D)

Needs Improvement (N)

CONNECT: Problem solving

The mentor uses a cognitive behavioral approach with students to promote the acquisition of skills to resolve conflicts constructively and encourage the search for solutions rather than a source of blame.

Increase cognitive, academic, and behavioral engagement

The mentor engages students in identifying the problem, generating possible solutions, evaluating those solutions, and choosing one.

The mentor follows-up with students to evaluate the selected solutions and assists with making any adjustments

The mentor guides the student through resolving conflicts without student input.

The mentor generates potential solutions and choices for (as opposed to with) students.

The mentor avoids problem solving with the student or places blame on the student or others when problem situations arise.


For example: 

  • You work through the problem with (not for) the student.
  • You focus on the student’s identification of the problem and possible solutions, then prompt the student’s evaluation of those solutions and choice of one. 
  • You follow up with students about how the chosen solution is working, guiding them in their evaluation of the situation and assisting with necessary changes.

For example:

  • You instruct the student in how to solve conflicts they are facing. 
  • You make a list for your student of solutions to their problems and encourage them to choose from the list.

For example:

  • You do not discuss problems or their potential solutions with students at all.
  • You blame students for problems which arise or focus on finding another party to blame for the situation.

Reflective Questions

What are your strengths in problem solving?

Where do you have room for growth?

What support do you need in order to improve in this area?