June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
New Engineering Educators
14.834.1 - 14.834.7
Leadership 105: Mentoring Graduate Students: Roles/Philosophy
The purpose of this paper is to define the roles of the faculty member and to discuss philosophies that will lead to a relationship that ensures success of the graduate student and, ultimately, the faculty member – since success for both makes the team tremendously successful.
The faculty roles include guidance in course work, assignment of pertinent research, development of research skills, development of writing skills, development of presentation skills, and adherence to time management principles. The faculty member must assess these areas and concentrate upon the rapid development of weak skills and effective use of stronger skills to maximize the output of the faculty-student team. The team must buy-in to the philosophy that is discussed at the initial meeting, before the graduate student is selected and hired.
The faculty philosophy must be one of a business model with definite deadlines, in-progress reviews, clearly stated assignments, strict enforcement of deadlines, frequent observations of work habits, and, respectively, rewards and penalties when work is completed or deadlines are missed. It is important that a “contract” is agreed-upon and enforced by the faculty member and adhered-to by both parties. These are standard mentoring tools that are applicable in any organization, but are more important when the stakes are so high for both parties.
A comparison of the results of effective and ineffective mentoring will be described to illustrate the “best practices” that lead to success of the faculty member and the graduate student. Conclusions and recommendations for future work by offending parties will tie the comparison to the discussion of roles and philosophy.
The idea of mentoring faculty 1,2,9 is a long standing practice that has been extended to graduate students.3-7,9 Some of the graduate student mentoring has been focused upon getting graduate students into STEM programs, while others focus on teaching and/or research. In each case, the fundamentals of mentoring have sound theoretical and practical underpinnings and sound much like the material presented by Samples2.
Mentoring should be a team event where each agrees to the relationship. This is usually decided during the interview process when graduate students are selected based on their background and desire to work in a particular field or on a specific research endeavor. A portion of the faculty mentoring material presented by Samples can be edited by replacing the word “faculty” with the phrase “graduate student” as seen below:
The mentor and the person being mentored need to be teamed up early on in the new graduate student’s time at the university, preferably immediately after the first term begins. Some of the keys to a good relationship are: ≠ The mentor and the person being mentored must agree to the arrangement
Samples, J. (2009, June), Leadership 105: Mentoring Graduate Students Roles And Philosophy Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/5043
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: © 2009 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