Asee peer logo

Constructing An Interdisciplinary Peer Mentoring Network For First Year Faculty

Download Paper |


2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Faculty Development II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.345.1 - 10.345.7



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Rebecca Bates

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Constructing an Interdisciplinary Peer Mentoring Network for First Year Faculty

Rebecca A. Bates Minnesota State University, Mankato

Abstract The success of a first year faculty member depends on many things, both internal (inherent to the person) and external. Given a record of success, i.e., many years of schooling and completion of a Ph.D., the internal factors contributing to success are already available to most faculty members. The external factors that contributed to this earlier success may be difficult to duplicate at the new home institution. Along with information about mentoring in general, this paper presents one method of building an external network that will contribute to the success (and retention) of first year faculty.

I. Introduction Success as a graduate student happens in part because of peer support, in the form of lab meetings, interaction in class and other academic settings, and during social activities, whether formally organized or not. Moving to an academic position can be an isolating experience both professionally and socially, particularly when the position is in a small department or in a department with few or no new faculty. While some departments or colleges may have a formal mentoring program or support informal mentoring, mentors are typically tenured faculty or people much further along in the tenure process. For a successful transition from student to faculty member, it is also important to build connections with faculty who are having similar experiences during a similar time frame. The need for connections and the potential lack of possibilities inside a home department suggest looking outside of engineering and science departments to find peers. Peer mentoring is accepted as useful for students, and the same benefits that come from learning from others are valuable for new faculty. By seeking interdisciplinary peers, the effects of "data" sparsity are reduced, especially since problems faced by first year teachers are rarely discipline-specific. New faculty benefit from multiple information channels about their institutions. In addition, discussions about teaching among an interdisciplinary group show that science and engineering faculty can benefit from experiences in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

This paper first describes some of the key issues for faculty success. Information is presented about the importance of mentoring, especially for underrepresented faculty where the decision to remain at a particular university may boil down to the social and personal connections they are able to make in a new location. In particular, motivation for and information about the usefulness of an interdisciplinary network will be presented. This work will describe the interactions of a group of faculty from multiple colleges at a teaching-focused university.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Bates, R. (2005, June), Constructing An Interdisciplinary Peer Mentoring Network For First Year Faculty Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14890

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015