• Mentoring Indigenous Secondary School Students to Raise Educational Aspirations
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 25, 2015

    A critical topic within Australian Universities centres on improving opportunities for Australian and Torres Strait Islander people to undertake higher education.  This paper examines the challenges that exist when inspiring and motivating Indigenous students to consider higher education.  It discusses a University project which involved the collaborative efforts of key community stakeholders and consisted of a series of positive learning experiences for Indigenous secondary school students in a regional University.  This project sought to engage the hearts and minds of individual students to broaden their educational aspirations, and explored factors which influenced their educational attainment. The results of this research indicate the positive outcomes on students’ educational aspirations.  The study reveals the power of family and community in determining student success or failure at school and the implications for Indigenous students considering higher educational studies.  The research found that effective mentoring would be beneficial to focus upon achieving a balance between supporting students and educating their families about the demands of higher education for their children.  In order to raise educational aspirations for Indigenous secondary school students, university mentoring programs could align and support students’ connections to family and community.  Recommendations for further research into mentoring programs to investigate ways to strengthen the connections between a University and the students’ external support structures in order for them to succeed in higher education are suggested.  

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  • Beyond the Classroom: Mentoring that Builds Relationships for Civic Engagement
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 25, 2015

    This paper is an exploration into mentoring within the context of an applied professional study graduate program by students and their mentor. It presents mentoring as a multi-faceted approach that engages adult learners in empowering themselves and their communities within civic engagement projects in community settings.  Graduate students learn while they earn credit; and community residents learn while cementing community-university-public and private business-partnerships to build a foundation for community transformation based on local assets.  Mentoring Beyond the Classroom (MBC) is an approach to mentoring that combines socially responsible community action; emancipatory education principles; critical theory, and civic engagement as both context and content of personal and community development. This paper lays the philosophical foundation of the approach, moves on to describe a model developed by the faculty mentor, and chronicles the students’ insights in an abbreviated reflection section. The MBC approach pivots on a mutual desire among all participants in a community project for self-awareness and the shared values of egalitarian interdependence. With that, MBC is strongly rooted in emancipatory/popular education.

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  • Methodology: MBA Student Mentoring Through Holistic Integration Enhances Degree Completion
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 25, 2015

    Professional, educational, and technical disciplines   use experiential learning instructional models to provide students with competencies necessary to pursue successful careers post-graduation (Baxter Magolda, 2001). Organizational influences through procedures and practices can facilitate or hinder enculturation according to Van Maanen and Barley (1982). Kegan (1982) and Bridges (1991) identify this process as a holding environment that provides both welcoming acknowledgement to exactly who the student is right now, just as they are, then initiates steps to foster the student's psychological evolution. Initiating new proactive linkages between faculty and students through experiential learning orientation can facilitate student success when entering a formal higher education degree program thus ensuring elevating student-career completions by removing staid non-communicatory roadblocks. For most students this is the first opportunity of practiced mentoring. This article reveres mentoring as more than just a tool for the trades; it is a lifelong character and whole person building block. The authors will demonstrate how properly mentoring one person transfigures the mentored into a responsible mentor of many. Mentorship, if applied properly, is the pebble dropped into the glass still pond. The ripples travelling outward are the result of responsible practical applications with others who then re-model mentoring lessons with others. Being a mentor is a life-changing gift. Sharing this gift with others is the first step for transformative learning. 

    Keywords: mentorship, enculturation, experiential learning, holistic integration, storied lives, transformative learning

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  • Peer-to-Peer Mentoring with Global Reach
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 25, 2015

    Mentoring students in an educational setting is not new, however a framework that allows three different types of mentoring: pre-college, inter-college and community focused and project based mentoring has not been studied. In this paper, we discuss how a global community of volunteers (students, faculty, and others) provided mentoring support to students from early childhood to pre-college students in subjects such as math, English, and science using material available by Khan Academy (funded by Gates foundation) in India and Ghana. A consultancy program focused on social responsibility shows how college students from an academic institution can mentor community leaders on focused community projects. Inter-college mentoring (seniors mentoring freshman) is quite prevalent. This paper detail how both the pre-college and community-based mentoring can act as two bookends to a comprehensive mentoring program. A web-based platform and community-academic exchange framework can virtually connect those who want to mentor with those who need mentoring, while at the same time allowing mentors to advance their mentoring competencies through knowledge sharing in a virtual setting and in support of a social responsibility mission.

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  • Systematizing Effective Mentoring through Cohort Cross-talk
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 25, 2015

    Between academic preparation and in-service practice—where one in three teachers quit within their first three years of teaching-- teacher education programs often miss critical opportunities to reinforce professional identity formation through supportive efforts.   Relying too heavily upon state and school district involvement to bear induction responsibilities has not successfully addressed this attrition crisis. (Ashdown, 2006; Assuncao Flores, 2006; Berliner, 2001; Blandford, 2001; Brookfield, 1995; Burgess, 2001; Carroll, 2007; Hammerness, 2001, 2005; Hancock, 2001; Hayes, 2006; McCann, 2005; Wang, 2006; Wood, 2006; Yendoel-Hoppey, et al 2006). This paper addresses Beista’s (2004) gap—the place where education takes occurs, is critically needed—at the university level in a timely, growth-producing way to realize greater induction continuity and teacher efficacy.  The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Secondary English Education program incorporates cohort cross-talk experiences to reinforce agency and efficacy. Through strategic, sustainable methods that aim for systematic and coherent teacher induction, we aim to extend our mentoring reach.  This paper explores three major areas in which cohort cross-talk is implemented to facilitate a more effective induction process in our students’ pre and in-service years.  Cross-talk methods include cross-cohort classroom interactions, blogging discussions, field experience shadowing, in-service semester workshops and linked e-communities, and in-service research circles.  Descriptions of these methods and how their inclusion aligns with research and programmatic potentials are fully explored in an unabridged paper version.  

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  • High Impact on Engineering and Geoscience Professionals
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 25, 2015

    The population we impact with our mentoring program consists of engineers and geoscientists; however, we will   address the impact of our program in three ways. Firstly, we will address impact on these groups of technical professionals in general terms. Secondly, we will describe the impact on a special sector of the professionals: the internationally educated among them. Thirdly, we will single out for special treatment the impact that aspects of our program have on the least experienced, youngest members of these groups. Our approach under each category will be to explain the best practices we employ to impact all groups and the targeted practices for the special groups. Our overall impact on our membership is enhancing the soft skills of highly technical professionals. In our current workplaces, technical skills may lead to employment; however, it is the soft skills that help individuals maintain their positions and get promoted. For this reason, mentoring is very valuable to the general membership. This is not only a benefit to them but also to our province and our economy. Internationally educated professionals, despite their high technical skills, are often unaware of the differences between their soft skills and those of this country because of the cultural basis for most soft skills. Our program is a great benefit to them. Similarly, young, inexperienced professionals are usually not aware that their soft skills differ from those in the workplace, which have been shaped by previous generations. Mentoring can help them integrate successfully.

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  • Mentoring, Coaching & Transition: Redefining At-Risk & Support Services
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 25, 2015

    The prevalent concern with student retention, persistence and matriculation, particularly within the confines of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) has led many scholars to focus their attention on institutional and student vulnerability.  The concept of vulnerability and the factors associated with being at-risk has a long, cyclical history for African Americans.  The process of redefining at-risk involves a critical examination of access and opportunity.  Once an institution has provided a student with the privilege of access it has the responsibility of creating an environment that is conducive for healthy, productive and reciprocal engagements.  In order to meet the goals and objectives of a student retention mandate at Albany State University (ASU), the Girls Night In: Sistah 2 Sistah Program (GNI) was developed.  GNI provides academic and life skills support for a vulnerable population of female students, who constitute a significant portion of the ASU constituency.  Based on our fourteen years of GNI experiences, we suggest that effective engagements for vulnerable populations deemed at-risk be driven by authentic strategic communicative interactions.  These communicative interactions (mentoring and coaching sessions) are developed in response to students’ sociocultural locations.  Coaching and mentoring has been noted as invaluable factors in academic and life success.  Throughout the fourteen years of GNI experiences, we have found that affording African American female students opportunities to purposely reflect on their essence, experiences, and challenges has resulted in rewarding academic and personal benefits.  

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  • Developmental Mentoring Constellations: Sustaining Engaged Scholarship
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 26, 2015

    This paper presents data from an exploratory qualitative study conducted at a mid-western university for the purposes of identifying mentors’ perceptions of developmental mentoring constellations when involved in mentorship relationships with engaged scholars. The aim of the study was to investigate mentorships that support and sustain engaged scholarship practices in a research-one university that emphasizes research, teaching and service over engaged scholarship. Each participant of the study is (1) an engaged scholar who has been mentored within a developmental mentoring constellation during his/her professional career, and is (2) actively involved in mentoring one or more engaged scholars. The following questions guide the study: (1) What mentoring support did you receive on your own career path? (2) What are the functions, roles, characteristics, and dispositions of an effective mentor who works with engaged scholars? (3) What knowledge, skills, or dispositions did you gain as a result of being mentored? (4) What learning did you acquire as a result of mentoring engaged scholars? (5) Explain whether or not the term “developmental mentoring constellations” resonates with you as a way to sustain engaged scholarship and why or why not?  A review of the literature that explores mentorships is provided. This paper proposes that given the complexities of engaged scholarship, a constellation of mentoring, which is developmental in nature, is necessary to sustain the scholarship of engagement. Recommendations are made for mentors who seek to work with engaged scholars while orienting toward professional requirements of research, teaching and service.

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  • Building Leadership Capacity: Mentoring that Works
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 26, 2015

    Educators face the daunting task of ensuring that every student makes academic progress.  New teachers and administrators find this task overwhelming when combined with the pressures of being new to a job. Over the past three years, the instructional leadership faculty at Jacksonville State University has developed an induction program for new teachers in its service area and a successful mentoring program for educational leadership students that includes on-line and job-embedded professional development activities for both mentors and mentees.  The faculty members believe that by providing effective, instructionally-focused mentoring for new employees, schools develop leadership capacity, the center piece of school improvement and higher achievement for all students.  This proposed paper/presentation will trace the development of the multi-level mentoring components of the instructional leadership program(s), the mechanisms describing how the mentoring is carried out, including training programs for mentors and mentees, the relationships between university faculty, LEA (Local Education Agency) partners, administrators, and the students. Specifically, the program of study is designed from beginning to end with mentorship being the primary component: university faculty train principals and other local school administrators to mentor teachers and other prospective administrators as instructional leaders. In essence, internship-type requirements run the entire length of the program(s). The effectiveness of mentoring in these re-designed instructional leadership programs will be demonstrated. The 60-page mentor’s guide will be made available to participants.

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  • Power Mentoring for the Novice in a Professional Career
    Posted in Conference Proceedings on February 26, 2015

    The process of career socialization for professional success is widely documented in every professional field. While career developmental models may vary among professions, they all emphasize the need for support networks and mentor relationships throughout every career stage. In particular, the relationships and networks that occur in the novice stage--the first two to three years after formal education--are essential for positive career development. These developmental relationships serve as a springboard into career opportunities that have a lasting effect on career and personal success and satisfaction.  When the importance of these relationships is minimized, ignored, or neglected, career derailment, dissatisfaction, and burnout often follow. As career professionals journey through the novice stage, they are confronted with unique rewards, opportunities and challenges.  Finding effective mentors and sponsors to shape one’s emerging career is a major task for the novice. This paper will present anecdotal and empirical data from four professions--nursing, law, business, and education--that highlight the challenges, strategies, and successes encountered in the beginning stages of career socialization.  The concept of “power mentoring” will be described as an approach to identify and attract a broad network of diverse developmental and support relationships. The elements of power mentoring for the novice will be described, as well as approaches to promote career success and satisfaction.

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