The Mentoring Institute occasionally invites the UNM and/or surrounding Albuquerque and New Mexico communities to participate in online surveys. A link to any active survey will be provided here, as well as in e-mail and other distributions.

2008 Mentoring Inventory Survey


In the spring semester of 2008, the Institute conducted a Web-based survey to inventory the mentoring programs across campus - in schools and colleges, in academic departments, in administrative offices, in student organizations, and in any other UNM entity that might have a mentoring program. The goals for the survey were:

  1. to be more familiar with the existing mentoring programs the Mentoring Institute exists to serve.
  2. to better facilitate connections among various mentoring programs as part of fostering a mentoring culture at UNM.

The questionnaire had 13 items, mostly short-response, that allowed respondents to tell us a little about particular aspects of the mentoring programs. It was housed on Student Voice - a service regularly used across campus - from mid-January to the end of May, 2008. Invitations and reminders were sent out across several university listservs, early and mid-way in the semester. Not knowing the population of mentoring programs (since that was something we were hoping to find out), we are unsure of the response rate. However, we do know that there were about 176 usable responses between January 20th and March 27th. Of the usable responses, there were 105 unique programs that said they did have a mentoring program. About 18 others said they did not have an established program, but described activities involving meaningful developmental relationships. Unusable responses were a very small number of nonsense responses.

Formality of Mentoring Programs

Based on the following categories, how formal is your mentoring program?

  • Formal - organized and directed by your department or organization, with mandatory or “strongly encouraged” participation.
  • Supported - organized and managed by members of your department or organization (faculty, advanced students, senior members) and supported in some way by your department or organization.
  • Informal - organized and managed by members with the knowledge but no direct support of your department or organization.

There were 119 responses to this item: 49 formal programs, 41 supported programs, and 29 informal programs. Because this survey was intended to gather information about programs, Figure 1 shows the types of programs based on whether respondents said "Yes" or "No" to whether their department or organization has a mentoring program. It shows that respondents were more likely to say "No" than "Yes" when asked if mentoring is more informal in their settings. 

Types of Programs

To better understand the distribution of mentoring activities, mentoring programs were categorized by the overall purpose or audience they served.

Academic programs (82) are housed in academic colleges, schools, and departments for faculty, graduate or professional students, and undergraduate students. Professional programs (4) involve development of individuals in specific careers. The Student Organizations (12) includes mentoring in chartered student organizations, including Greek life and academic honor societies. Student Services programs (17) provide mentoring to individual students or groups. Community programs (11) focus on outreach to those not presently enrolled in or employed at the university. The Athletic (2) programs are directed at student athletes or athletic or recreational activities. The distribution of programs into the categories is shown in Figure 2. This may or may not represent the full scope of mentoring at UNM; it is only based on the responses to the survey.

Units Housing Mentoring Programs

More than 80 different departments have mentoring programs, and we wanted to see how their "parent" units sized up in terms of supporting mentoring activities.

As expected, academic units were typically connected with academic mentoring programs; student services offices were most associated with most general student service-oriented mentoring programs, and so on.

We noticed in the data that academically oriented mentoring programs were not evenly distributed among the twelve schools or colleges in the universities. Understandably, the College of Arts and Sciences, with 20 or more departments representing various physical and social science disciplines had the most, while the College of Nursing, far more homogeneous in its academic focus, had much less. What was most surprising was the small number of mentoring programs reported from the College of Fine Arts. A few mentoring programs crossed college lines (e.g. School of Engineering and School of Medicine). The distribution of mentoring programs in the academic colleges and schools is shown in Figure 3.

Who Mentors Whom?

The questionnaire also asked about the most common types of mentor-mentee pairings in organizations. Do faculty mentor graduate students? Do staff mentor undergraduate students? Do students mentor one another?

There were 116 usable responses to this item. Half of the responses indicated that a program involved more than one mentor-to-mentee pairing types.

Figure 6 shows the frequency of reported mentor-mentee pairing type, including all types indicated in multiple-check responses. Most of the “Other” responses shown were described as alumni of the university or other professionals in the community who mentor graduate or undergraduate students, or recent alumni. The graph unsurprisingly shows that faculty-student mentoring relationships are the most common -- or at least the most commonly recognized as mentoring, and thus reported. While faculty/student mentoring will probably remain the most common, this shows a possible need to promote mentoring among people who represent different affiliations within the University.

Groups Supported by Mentoring Programs

Some programs are specifically directed toward serving a given group of people, including minority groups or group membership related to one's affiliation with the University (e.g. faculty, staff, freshman student, professional student).

Figures 4 and 5 illustrate the numbers of reported programs that cater to minority groups and to groups based on academic standing, respectively. In the Minorities Graph, the first category represents groups that are broadly oriented to racial or ethnic minorities. For simplicity of reporting, mentoring programs focused on women and differently enabled groups are also represented in Figure 4. Again, the figure only represents programs that were reported through the survey. *

Please check back soon for a more extensive report of this survey. We hope that this page provides useful information to those who participated in the survey, and those seeking mentors or considering starting a mentoring program.

If you feel that the Mentoring Institute can be of assistance to your program, please contact us. Also consider coming to our Mentoring Conference, which is held annually in October.

* The Mentoring Institute’s intention and purpose is to support all mentoring programs.  If you feel that your group is not represented here, or was not reported in the survey, we still want to hear from you.