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Who can come to Mentor Centers?

University students currently working on VI or O&M certification, VI professionals currently assigned a mentor through the TSBVI Mentor Program and mentors accompanying protégés. 

Can mentors come without a protégé?


Can a protégé come without their mentor?

Yes.  Mentor attendance is not a requirement. 

Can students in the TTU/SFA program come before they are assigned a mentor?

Yes, but only once. You can come to a second Mentor Center when you are hired in a VI or O&M position.

How often can a student or protégé come to a Mentor Center?

You can come to a maximum of 2 Mentor Centers. TTU/SFA students who do not hold a VI position can come only once, then once again when you are hired as a COMS or TVI.

How often can a mentor come to a Mentor Center?

One time per school year with a protégé.

What are the hotel room arrangements?

TSBVI will reserve your room and pay the hotel through a direct billing process. We do not reimburse incidentals such as phone use, room service, and/or movies.  Do NOT contact the hotel yourself.  We get special rates and will need to make the reservation for you. 

Is my mileage reimbursed?

We will reimburse one-way mileage, using the state rate. This applies to individuals traveling at least 30 miles one way.

Can we rent a car when we fly into Austin?

Yes, for Mentor Center mileage purposes only.  We will make those car rental arrangements for you and pay them directly.

Can my district be reimbursed for a substitute?

Yes. You will get the form for this once you are at the Mentor Center.

Do I need to attend all 3 days? 

Yes. The scheduling process on Sunday evening is also required. If you cannot come on Sunday, you will need to withdraw you Mentor Center registration and come at another time.

If I have a student attending TSBVI, is it all right if I observe the student while I’m there?

Yes, but you will need to find out your student’s schedule before coming, and email TSBVI teachers ahead of time to ask if you may observe.  We ask that you limit your observation to 1 hour so that you can participate in all of the Mentor Center activities.

Can I stay at a friend’s/relative’s house instead of the hotel?

That is great—as long as you can be at TSBVI by 7:30 a.m. on both Monday and Tuesday.  

What if you make a plane, car, or hotel reservation for me and I cannot come at the last minute?

You will need to email and call Chrissy Cowan or Melanie Schacht (, 512-206-9389) prior to the Friday before the Mentor Center is scheduled to begin.

Can I fly to the Mentor Center?

If you live over 225 miles away, we can arrange a flight for you.  Flights cannot be arranged or reimbursed if the reservation is made less than 2 weeks prior to the start date of the Mentor Center. 

Can a family member come with me?

Please check with Chrissy Cowan () beforehand if you would like to come with a family member.  If you fly together, we will reimburse your ticket only.  Children and other guests cannot attend the Mentor Center activities. 

Can I stay at the hotel an extra night?

If you live more than 250 miles away and you have driven by yourself to a Mentor Center, we can reimburse you for staying Tuesday night only if we have prior notice

Questions?  Contact:

Chrissy Cowan, Mentor Coordinator
TSBVI Outreach Department
1100 W. 45th Street
Austin, TX  78756
Phone: 512-206-9367
Fax:  512-206-9320

Return to information about the Mentor Center.