The MEF Instructor Mentorship Program1. Aims of the MEF Instructor Mentorship Program
A mentoring program is recognized as a useful way of orienting new faculty members to the requirements of academia during the early years of their academic careers. The MEF University mentoring program has been designed to provide junior faculty with quality guidance in building long and productive careers at MEF University. This program pairs junior faculty with senior colleagues. Each pair works together to help the junior member set priorities, develop a network of advisors, increase visibility in professional communities, and understand MEF University’s institutional culture. This is a structured mentoring program: members of each pair are expected to commit to regular meetings and formulate goals in different areas of importance for the junior faculty member. While structured, the program provides each pair great flexibility in choosing how to spend their time and energy to enhance the junior member’s career. Pairs meet throughout the academic year to work towards goals they develop together. Program participants also meet periodically as a group for training and informal gatherings focused on career development. All aspects of the program are intended to assist the new faculty member, with the mentor providing advice and direction as requested (responsibility is maintained by the new faculty member).
Confidentiality A mentor will treat all dealings and discussions in confidence. There is no requirement to report to senior administration. The mentor has no role as an evaluator or assessor of the new faculty member. The role is one of supportive guidance and constructive criticism.
2. Applying for the MEF Instructor Mentorship Program
Applying to be a Mentee If you would like to apply to be a mentee on the MEF Mentorship Program, write to the director of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on firstname.lastname@example.org Please describe in a few sentences your field specific interests, the kinds of teaching you do or expect to do (i.e. lectures, seminars, laboratory teaching, etc.). Please state three areas where you feel a mentor could help you and state any preferences you might have regarding your potential mentor.
Applying to be a Mentor If you would like to apply to be a mentor on the MEF Mentorship Program, write to the director of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on email@example.com Please describe in a few sentences your field specific interests, the kinds of teaching you do (i.e. lectures, seminars, laboratory teaching, graduate advising, etc.) Please describe your particular strengths as a mentor (for example: teaching techniques; time management; networking with other faculty; etc.) Please state any preferences you might have regarding your potential protégé.
The Director of the CETL will ask mentees to choose a mentor from a list of available mentors; preferably from the same department. The Director of the CETL will finalize the matches and put mentors and mentees in contact with each other.
3. Benefits of the Mentorship Program
For the New Faculty Member:
• Advice on balancing workload (teaching, responsibilities)
• Individual recognition and encouragement
• Constructive criticism and informal feedback
• Psychological and social support
• Guidance regarding teaching, service, work and other aspects
• Knowledge of the formal and informal rules for advancement
• Individual training of processes within the Department/Faculty/University
• Knowledge of the procedures of the University
For the Mentor:
• Satisfaction of assisting with the development of a colleague
• Reflection of the mentor's current teaching/service, leading to improvements
• Departmental/faculty quality improvement resulting in better students and a higher profile environment
• Expanding the network of knowledgeable colleagues who have passed through the program
For the Institution:
• Increased commitment, productivity and satisfaction of new faculty
• Reduced attrition of new faculty
• Improved cooperation and cohesiveness amongst those involved in the program
• Improved quality of teaching and service
4. Tips for Mentees and Mentors
Tips for Mentees
• Show initiative in career planning: write a personal statement about your educational philosophy (to be amended as needed); exchange your CV with your mentor for discussion.
• Find out about, and take advantage of, opportunities for learning about how the university, and your field, operate. Write down questions as they occur to you, and then begin searching out the answers.
• Realize that your success is important not just to you, but also to your department and the university. Consider that ‘going it alone’ doesn’t work that well for anyone.
• Make your scheduled meetings with your mentor a priority, and take advantage of email and the telephone to keep in touch informally.
• Be willing to ask for help.
• Let the CETL director know if you have questions or concerns about the program.
• Begin assembling your ‘advisory board’ of supporters and advisors in the university community.
• Make and maintain contacts with other junior faculty, within your department as well as in other departments and schools.
• Become familiar with the resources available to support and strengthen your teaching.
• Assemble a library of information about your institution, school, and department.
Tips for Mentors
• Exchange CVs with your mentee to stimulate discussion about career paths and possibilities.
• Ask about and encourage accomplishments. Provide constructive criticism and impromptu feedback.
• Use your knowledge and experience to help junior faculty members identify and build on his/her own strengths.
• Attend any presentations and workshops related to the Mentorship program.
• Try to be in contact twice monthly (if possible) about the junior faculty’s career and activities. Commit to making one contact per month to show you’re thinking about your mentee’s career.
• Discuss annual performance reviews with the junior faculty member: how to prepare, what to expect, how to deal with different outcomes.
• Aid the junior faculty member in exploring the institutional, school, departmental culture, i.e. what is valued? What is rewarded?
• Check in with the CETL director with any concerns or problems. Respond to occasional calls from the director to see how each pair is doing.
• Share knowledge of important university and professional events that should be attended by the junior faculty member.
5. Suggested Topics of Discussion for MEF University Mentorship Pairs
How is the junior faculty member’s department organized? (Divisions, Committees?) How are decisions made? What are the opportunities for junior faculty involvement? Is support staff available to junior faculty? What can be expected of support staff? What supplies and expenses are covered by your department? By your school? Are there other resources available to cover expenses related to teaching development?
What conferences should the junior faculty member attend? What can you do at professional gatherings to gain the type of exposure that can lead to good contacts?
Where should you publish? What should you publish? How much/how often? What are your department/school’s expectations regarding publication? When is it time to worry if you haven't published? Is it worthwhile to send published reports to colleagues here, and elsewhere? What’s the line between sharing news of your accomplishments and appearing self-‐congratulatory?
Should you give your presentations within your department? How often? Should you give presentations about your work at other universities/institutions/public settings? How often? How important is this? If it is important, how do you get invited to give these talks?
Will you be expected to assemble a teaching portfolio? In which format? What goes into such a portfolio? What are you expected to teach? Is it good to teach the same course semester after semester, stay with a single area? Or should you ‘teach around’? How much time should you spend on your course preparation? Where’s the line between sufficient preparation and over-‐preparation? Are there departmental/school standards for grading? What degree of freedom do you have in determining course content? Does your department expect midterm and final exams? How are you evaluated on teaching? What importance is placed on peer observation of your teaching or on student evaluations? If senior faculty do observe your classes, who asks them to come? To whom do they report, and in what way? What resources are there for improving your teaching? If a classroom problem arises you aren’t sure how to handle, what are your options for seeking advice, help? What documentation related to teaching should you keep? Syllabi? Exams? Abstracts? How should you develop a teaching portfolio? What form should it take? What should it include?
How much committee work should you expect to perform within your department? School? University? At the beginning of your career at MEF University? What committees should you push to serve on? How much time should you expect to devote to committees and other forms of service as a junior faculty member?
6. Changing Mentors
Changing Mentors A new faculty member should consider changing mentors if the mentor:
• is clearly and consistently uninterested in the program
• discourages or undervalues the new faculty member's abilities
• indicates conflict of interest or form of prejudice, or
• simply appears to be incompatible Should one or more of these tendencies be apparent, either the new faculty member or mentor should seek advice from his/her Chair or the Vice Dean and then contact the CETL director.
In any case, the new faculty member is encouraged to seek out additional mentors as the need arises. It is important to realize that changes can and should be made without prejudice or fault.
7. Mentorship Resource List
Books in the CETL Library
• Johnson, W. B. (2006). On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty (1 edition). Mahwah, N.J: Psychology Press.
• Wiley: Transformative Conversations: A Guide to Mentoring Communities Among Colleagues in Higher Education -‐ Peter Felten, H-‐Dirksen L. Bauman, Aaron Kheriaty, et al. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-‐1118288270.html
Recommended Books and Articles
• Allen, T. "When Mentors and Protégés Communicate: Lessons from Universities." Mentoring International 4.1 (1990): 24-‐28.
• Astin, A. E. and R. G. Baldwin. Faculty Collaboration: Enhancing the Quality of Scholarship and Teaching. Washington, DC: ASHE-‐ERIC Higher Education Reports No. 7. 1991.
• Boice, R. "Quick Starters: New Faculty Who Succeeded." Effective Practices for Improving Teaching. Ed. M. Theall and R. Franklin. San Francisco: Jossey-‐Bass, 1991. 111-‐121.
• Boice, Robert. The New Faculty Member: Supporting and Fostering Professional Development. San Francisco: Jossey-‐Bass Publishers, 1992.
• Boyle, P. and B. Boice. "Systematic Mentoring for New Faculty Teachers and Graduate Teaching Assistants." Innovative Higher Education 22.3 (1998): 157-179.
• Caplan, Paula J. Lifting a Ton of Feathers: A Woman's Guide to Surviving in the Academic World. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993.
• Johnsurd, L. K. and M. A. Wunsch. Barriers to Retention and Tenure at UH-Manoa: Faculty Cohorts 1982-‐88. Technical Report. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1991.
• Menges, Robert J. and Associates. Faculty in New Jobs: A Guide to Settling In, Becoming Established, and Building Institutional Support. San Francisco: Jossey-‐Bass Publishers, 1999.
• Michols, I. A., H. M. Carter, and M. P. Golden. "The Patron System in Academe: Alternative Strategies for Empowering Academic Women." Women's Studies International Forum 8 (1985): 383-‐390.
• Perna, F. M., Bart M. Lerner and M. T. Yura. "Mentoring and Career Development among University Faculty." Journal of Education. 177.2 (1991): 33-45.
• Sandler, Bernice R. "Women as Mentors: Myths and Commandments." Educational Horizons Spring 1995: 105-‐107.
• Sands, R. H., L. A. Parson and J. Duane. "Faculty Mentoring Faculty in a Public University." Journal of Higher Education 62:2 (1991): 174-‐93.
• Schoenfeld, A. Clay and Robert Magnan. Mentor in a Manual: Climbing the Academic Ladder to Tenure. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing, 1994.
• Sorcinelli, Mary Deane and Ann E. Austin. Developing New and Junior Faculty.
San Francisco: Jossey-‐Bass Publishers, 1992.
• Toth, Emily. Ms. Mentor's Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.
• Valian, Virginia. Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1999.
• Washington, Paula and Diane Scott. The Womentor Guide: Leadership for a New Millennium. Traverse City, MI: Sage Creek Press, 1999.
• Wunsch, M. A. "Developing Mentoring Programs: Major Themes and Issues."
New Directions for Teaching and Learning. 57 (1994): 27-‐34.
• Wunsch, M. A. "Giving Structure to Experience: Mentoring Strategies for Women Faculty." Initiatives 56.1 (1996): 1-‐10.