The Teaching and Learning Community

Make New Faculty Feel Connected


Common Pitfalls of Mentoring


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The Teaching and Learning Community

Faculty come to an teaching institution with varying levels of experience and needs. It is important to provide a number of activities and resources that take these differences into consideration and leave no faculty isolated. A good mentoring program should strive to create a true community of teaching and learning for its participants.

Good mentoring should be larger than one-on-one pairings:
  • A single mentor is highly unlikely to meet all the mentee's needs.  (Visit the website "Phases of Mentoring Relationships" from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh for more information)
Model Resources
Although some of the following resources were created for use with faculty at El Paso Community College, they can serve as models for potential projects within your own mentoring program.

The Mind Co-op
The Co-op enables faculty to share their expertise with other faculty members through the exchange of portable teaching modules formatted in PowerPoint.  While EPCC makes the module available for viewing on the website or through a CD-ROM check out at the Faculty Resource Center, you could adapt this idea for use in an electronic course management system such as Blackboard or WebCT. 

Mentoring Partnerships
This is the EPCC one-to-one mentoring model designed to promote a successful mentoring experience by clarifying what both partners want from their relationship and by helping them avoid some common mentoring pitfalls.

EPCC Mentoring Website
This website provides all the information about the EPCC Mentoring Program including handbooks and resources. On the first page you'll notice the mission and vision statements prominently displayed. Consider writing mission and vision statements for the mentoring initiative at your institution using these as a starting point:
Mission Statement:
The mission of the Mentoring Program is to provide a support network for new faculty as they begin their teaching careers. 
Vision Statement:
The vision of the Mentoring Program is to increase retention of new fulltime and adjunct faculty, provide activities that encourage collegiality among all faculty and foster a more professional and nurturing teaching environment.

Ask a Mentor
Mentoring can be provided on-line via email or through some type of threaded discussion area.

Extended Seminars and Online Courses
In addition to, or in place of, an extended mentoring program, some new faculty orientation programs provide 1- 2 day intensive training sessions for new and part-time faculty.   Providing ongoing professional development is always a good idea.

Brown Bag Lunches
Many universities and colleges provide weekly or monthly open forum question and answer sessions or more structured presentations during lunch or breakfast hours. 

Resources on Faculty Mentoring from the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. This site offers links to websites and articles about other mentoring programs, mentoring specific groups, discipline-specific mentoring, developing and assessing mentoring programs, and much more. 

Passages: A Structured Mentoring Program for Faculty at Emory
The Passages program is designed to help new faculty set priorities, develop a network of advisors, increase their visibility within the institution and related professional communities and understand the institutional culture.

Austin Community College
All new ACC faculty, both full-time and adjunct, must be assigned a mentor during their first semester.  The program description includes helpful forms for downloading, such as the Mentor Checklist, the Optional Mentee Evaluation, and the Teaching Observation Checklist.