June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.345.1 - 10.345.7
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
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