Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mentoring Promotion/Tenure-Seeking Faculty: Principles of Good Practice within a Counselor Education Program

Researchers: L. DiAnne Borders, J. Scott Young, Kelly L. Wester, Christine E. Murray, José A. Villalba, Todd F. Lewis, & A. Keith Mobley

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Source (Journal name, date of publication):

Counselor Education & Supervision, March 2011, volume 50, pages 171-188.

What was the purpose of this research?

The authors describe a successful program for mentoring junior faculty in one counselor education department.

If applicable, who were the participants, and what were they asked to do?

Five promotion/tenure-seeking faculty members (PTSFs) employed in the department at the time the article was written reviewed lists of mentorship examples and provided written feedback about their mentorship experiences. The five PTSFs also provided feedback about what worked well and what could be improved.

Major findings or points:

The authors developed a model of mentoring PTSFs based upon 10 basic principles developed by Sorcinelli (2000): communicate expectations for performance, give feedback on performance, enhance collegial review processes, create flexible timelines for tenure, encourage mentoring by senior faculty, extend mentoring and feedback to graduate students who aspire to be faculty members, recognize the department chair as a career sponsor, support teaching, support scholarly development, and foster a balance between professional and personal life. The authors identified the most salient mentoring activities that occurred in the Department and used these examples to illustrate the 10 principles. The PTSFs’ reactions to the mentoring experiences and suggestions for improvement were also provided.

Major caveats:

This mentoring program was implemented at a single university; other universities will have different needs and should alter the model accordingly. The authors describe some informal aspects of mentorship that are difficult to quantify and might be difficult to replicate.

What does this research mean for counseling practice, settings, and/or training?

This model is a useful framework for mentoring PTSFs in counselor education departments and can be modified to fit the unique culture of a university. Mentorship activities generate positive consequences for senior faculty and PTSFs. The authors encourage other counseling departments to develop and implement a clear mentoring plan, have frequent conversations about senior faculty involvement with mentoring, be flexible, and emphasize open communication.


counselor education, mentor, promotion, tenure

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