Mentoring Program - Guidelines

About the Mentoring Relationship:

The Instructional Academic Staff Mentoring Program promotes professional and personal development among IAS by connecting them with others who can advise, coach and guide them, as well as help them to understand the context in which they are operating. The program is designed to meet the needs of both new and continuing IAS, with goals developed to meet individual needs.

Each mentor and mentee will bring different experiences and expectations to the mentoring relationship, which evolves through a dynamic process of communication , assessment, goal-setting and evaluation. The time-frame, scope, and number of goals pursued in each relationship will differ. In addition, mentors and mentees may pursue different strategies: e.g., working as a pair, consulting outside "experts," or meeting with other mentors and mentees. For these reasons, each mentoring relationship is, to some extent, unique.

However, successful mentoring relationships share a number of common features, including mutual respect, commitment, and a willing investment of time and energy. The mentoring relationship offers mentors a chance to share their experience and expertise. It offers mentees an opportunity to solicit advice, encouragement, and informal but honest feedback.

While mentors and mentees may choose to address personal issues, they are encouraged to focus on issues of professional development. Mentors are not expected to help prepare promotion materials, help extensively with personal problems, or spend unlimited amounts of time with their mentees.

Finally, it is important to remember that mentors offer advice and encouragement; mentees bear ultimate responsibility for their decisions and actions.


The following guidelines are offered to help mentors and mentees establish a professional relationship:

  • Although mentors are expected to make the initial contact and keep in touch with their mentees, either member of the pair can take initiative in the relationship.
  • Both mentors and mentees respect their partner's time as much as they respect their own. The program expects pairs to meet for no more than two hours each month; meetings can be one-on-one, group meetings, brown bags, or other activities, depending on what the pair decides to do.
  • Mentees feel free to ask for advice, and mentors are resources for mentees - with the understanding that mentors don't have all the answers! With the mentees' permission, mentors seek out other experts if needed.
  • Mentors should not attempt to handle situations for which they are not qualified; rather, they should refer their mentee to any campus (or other) resource when needed.
  • Mentors provide honest, sensitive feedback when asked. Mentees listen thoughtfully to critiques, suggestions, and positive feedback.
  • Mentors are good listeners, and consider their mentees' needs.
  • Mentors and mentees work together to develop, establish, and meet realistic, obtainable goals. They can set one or two goals at a time, or they can set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals - whatever suits the pair and the identified goals.
  • Mentors and mentees follow through on commitments.
  • Mentors and mentees keep confidences and maintain the highest standards of ethical behavior.
  • Mentors encourage their mentees to become an integral part of the campus community through networking and, when appropriate, to become future mentors.
  • Mentors and mentees periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship. They assess whether or not (and why or why not) they are meeting the goals they identified.