Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > Don’t Talk About Mentoring

Don’t Talk About Mentoring

By Kerry Ann Rockquemore

I was recently in a meeting with a president, chief diversity officer and dean at a small liberal arts college. The president launched our conversation by confidently insisting that while lots of people talk about the importance of mentoring, nothing really works, nobody has figured it out, none of the existing program models have rigorous enough measures, and all any program really does is make people feel better. As someone who has run variety of successful mentoring programs, this is typically the moment when I glaze over and disengage because the implicit message is: go ahead and try to prove to me what you’re doing works but I probably won’t believe you anyway.

Contrast this with the fact that the very same day I met with a great many faculty members on that campus who were desperate for mentoring. Like most of the pre-tenure faculty members I meet while traveling to different campuses every week, they had a fundamentally different perspective on mentoring: the vast majority don’t have a mentor (and never have), want a mentor immediately, and want someone to help them figure out how things work so they can get on with actually doing their work.

Continued at: http://wp.me/p11BlP-FG

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