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Creating an Effective Mentoring Program, Part 4: Mentorship Dos and Don’ts

Faculty Development Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Creating an Effective Mentoring Program, Part 4: Mentorship Dos and Don’ts

effective mentoring programs
Faculty mentoring programs are only as good as the mentors who work with junior faculty. Unfortunately, few senior faculty members ever receive formal training regarding how to be an effective mentor. They may be excellent instructors and researchers in their subject areas. They may also be experts on university and department cultures and policies. But most will likely need direction and training to learn how to transmit their proficiencies to the next generation of faculty members.

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Faculty mentoring programs are only as good as the mentors who work with junior faculty. Unfortunately, few senior faculty members ever receive formal training regarding how to be an effective mentor. They may be excellent instructors and researchers in their subject areas. They may also be experts on university and department cultures and policies. But most will likely need direction and training to learn how to transmit their proficiencies to the next generation of faculty members. The purpose of this article is to share suggestions to assist mentors—Dos and Don’ts—that have proven successful in a variety of faculty settings. Here are a few suggestions for mentors to consider:

 

Getting started

 

It’s about them—not you

 

Teach how things work Mentors should not be expected to know all of the answers to these questions. One of the most supportive actions academic leaders can take is to let mentors know that your door is always open to support them in their mentoring efforts. This is the fourth in a series of articles about creating and maintaining an effective mentoring program.  Kenneth L. Alford, PhD, is a professor at Brigham Young University. Tyler J. Griffin, PhD, is an associate teaching professor at Brigham Young University. Reach them at Ken_Alford@byu.edu and Tyler_Griffin@byu.edu.