New Faculty Development Mentoring

About Mentoring at Delaware Tech

The mentoring component of the New Faculty Development Program supports professional development by pairing the new instructor with a more seasoned faculty member. This one-on-one partnership provides new faculty members with personalized support and guidance needed to fulfill their professional potential.

In reality, the mentor benefits at least as much as the mentee. Ask good teachers why they teach and they will say “Because I enjoy the students. They have taught me so much.” Although there may be challenges associated with being a mentor, overall the literature, research, and personal observations indicate the benefits far outweigh any challenges.

Mentors will be selected by the Dean of Instruction.

pile of motivational words with mentoring on top

Responsibilities of the Mentor

The literature (Hanover Research, 2014) identifies four general areas in which mentors typically support mentees:

  1. Getting to know the institution
  2. Excelling at teaching
  3. Creating work/life balance
  4. Developing professional networks

You should meet regularly with the mentee to share activities, discuss progress, and respond to questions.

Critical Skills for Mentors

According to a 2014 report (Hanover Research), effective mentors possess the following:

  • Thorough understanding of institutional characteristics, culture, and resources
  • Familiarity with teaching strategies and techniques
  • Awareness of adult learning principles
  • Interpersonal skills, such as active listening and providing feedback
  • Understanding of the developmental differences between themselves and the mentee

Responsibilities of the Mentee

The mentee must assume a proactive role!  The following list of mentee responsibilities was compiled from the mentoring literature:

  • The mentee initiates the process for making appointments with the mentor.
  • The mentee commits to being on time for appointments or for renegotiating days and times as needed.
  • The mentee is expected to communicate his/her goals and aspirations to the mentor. The mentor needs to know what the needs of the mentee are or s/he will be limited in ability to help.
  • Stay current with your mentor. At regular intervals during the mentoring process, discuss your progress/share concerns.
  • The mentee must respect the mentor and the mentor’s time.

Critical Skills for Mentees

  • Openness to learning
  • Self-awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Ability to effectively plan and proactively manage his/her professional development
  • Observe carefully and learn from the modeled actions of mentors and others
  • Integrate and apply new knowledge and skills into your teaching
  • Receive feedback non-defensively
  • If the mentee disagrees with the mentor, or feels that the mentor has a misperception, it needs to be discussed.

Meeting Each Other for the First Time

Your introduction to each other may be initiated by either of you, or it may be facilitated by the mentee’s department chair, the Dean of Instruction, or a member of CCIT. Regardless, you should plan to meet as soon as possible. The purpose of this initial meeting is to

  1. Begin to develop a collegial, supportive relationship.
  2. Establish clear goals and expectations for the relationship.
  3. Develop a plan for regular meetings, to include the date and time of your next meeting.
  4. Identify and address any immediate needs of the mentee.

The following suggested topics may be helpful to get the conversation flowing! Both of you could discuss:

  • Your educational background, professional experiences, and interests.
  • Your previous experiences with mentoring (as mentor and mentee).
  • Your goals, expectations, and concerns about the mentoring relationship.
  • Your available days/times for future meetings.
  • The immediate needs of the mentee. What does he/she need to know today or this week?
  • The mentor may want to discuss the benefits of organizations and professional development opportunities, as well as faculty and student resources.
  • What “one piece of advice” would you give to the mentee?
  • Invite the mentee to meetings or activities, in order to facilitate linkages with other professionals.
Man holding clear ball with text

Next Steps

  • Attend the Information Session to learn about the New Faculty Development Program. The two of you will meet other new faculty and their mentors during this one-hour meeting. This meeting will be planned by the Learning Strategies Coordinator, who is a member of the Center for Creative Instruction and Technology (CCIT).
  • Tour the Campus together. The mentor should orient the mentee to the campus and begin to introduce him/her to other faculty and staff.
  • Complete the Self-Assessment Worksheet. This will be discussed during the Information Session.
  • Complete the Customized Professional Development Plan. This will be explained during the Information Session.

Mentoring Activities

Examples of additional mentoring activities include the following (Hanover Research, 2014):

  • Attending professional development programs/events/workshops
  • Performing teaching observations
  • Discussing effective instructional techniques, course development, curricular issues, teaching strategies, and syllabi
  • Discussing academic policies and guidelines
  • Informing mentee of institutional resources and support systems
  • Discussing student issues such as advising, motivating, and preventing academic dishonesty.
  • Sharing experiences on stress management, life/work balance, and effectively managing time
  • Discussing how to deal with feedback on teaching from students and administration

Problem Solving

As the mentoring relationship proceeds, there may be times when the mentee and mentor disagree. It is vital that the mentee maintain a strong learning attitude and be willing to consider new ideas. In a very real sense, it is the mentee who manages the relationship and must take a strong lead.