Jul 9, 2009

Faculty Mentoring

To KCC Faculty & Staff

Over the past two years, a small group of faculty has piloted a faculty mentoring program. During the pilot program, the focus was on transfer-level Liberal Arts majors. Based on positive feedback from the faculty mentors and mentees, we are “going mainstream” fall semester 2009. That means students and faculty in any program may be involved. The privilege of serving as a faculty mentor is not limited to teaching faculty; anyone wanting to be of service may become involved. If you are interested in serving as a mentor to one or more students, please read on.

The Faculty/Student Mentor Program (FSMP) is designed to

• provide students with additional academic support and encouragement
• increasing student engagement
• facilitate the accomplishment of their career and educational goals
• make college an exciting, fulfilling, and successful experience

Faculty Mentors are intended to serve as a student’s primary source of “specialization information”—the kind of information you have because of your education, work experience, or personal interest. Mentors provide students with real-world information and advice concerning their academic and career plans. For example, Faculty Mentors may be asked to provide answers to questions such as

• “what can I do with a degree in ___________?”
• “how can I submit my poetry for possible publication?”
• “I want to be a(n) _____________. What kinds of courses can help me prepare for that?”

Faculty Mentors may also refer students to Student Services advisors or other on- or off- campus resources. Faculty Mentors will have the freedom to plan activities that address students’ interests and needs—even group activities.

Students are matched with Faculty Mentors by academic majors, career goals and interests. Faculty are able to help the students integrate into campus life and assist their development as scholars in their academic majors, while the structured process provides a framework which makes it easier and less intimidating for students to obtain meaningful academic and personal support from faculty.

The responsibilities of Faculty Mentors are quite simple.

• You will be asked to meet with your assigned students at least three times during each semester—once by the third week of classes, and once again by the sixth week.
• A standardized reminder/"pep talk" letter will be mailed to students in anticipation of the course withdrawal date, urging students to contact their mentors if they are in difficulty.
• You will need to meet with your “mentees” at least once more before the end of the semester, even if they have not contacted you regarding the withdrawal date reminder letter.
• You will not have to write or file any reports other than simply letting us know how often you have met with each student during each semester.

When you decide to become a Faculty Mentor, let me know via phone (x 326) or email (kdc@hawaii.edu). I will follow up by having you fill out a “bio sheet” which will provide me with information I need to serve as “matchmaker.” (Yes—it’s kind of like a dating service!)

I look forward to hearing from you.

Ken Curtis, Title III Coordinator