Faculty Mentoring Component

A mentoring program was established to support the tenure and promotion efforts of STEM-SBS junior faculty and mid-career faculty. The mentoring component and its related activities were founded on the belief that although mentoring was essential to career advancement, traditional mentoring models might not be effective for women in STEM-SBS disciplines at HBCUs. With input from women faculty, insight from current literature, and observations of what works in providing institution and discipline specific mentoring options, the JSU ADVANCE mentoring component became a model for university wide faculty development.

Purpose

JSU ADVANCE established the mentoring program to help faculty members establish a research agenda and guide the faculty member through the processes necessary for advancement, such as research, publishing, networking, collaborating, and presenting at related conferences. The mentoring component was also designed to identify specific mentoring needs and mentoring approaches that most effectively and efficiently meet the needs of women in STEM-SBS at HBCUs.

Audience

The JSU ADVANCE mentoring program focused on female faculty at all professorial ranks who sought support in making the next step in career advancement. Newly minted PhDs in their first faculty appointments as well as Associate Professors looking to make the transition into a full professor or administrative leadership position, took part in the mentoring initiatives and activities.

DESIGN

  • Goals:
  • • To support the tenure and promotion of STEM and SBS junior women faculty while also providing support for scholars seeking to advance to full professor or administrative leadership.
  • • To develop a model for university wide application in order to ensure the success of all faculty, regardless of race or gender.

 

  • Objective(s):
  • • To advance the careers of STEM and SBS junior female faculty.

 

  • Activities:
  • • JSU ADVANCE Formal Mentoring Program
    • – Mentoring Program Application Developed
    • – Mentoring Program Orientation
    • – Mentoring Interactive Workshop Series
  • • STEM Women of Color Annual Conclave
    • – Sponsored faculty travel for informal networking and mentoring
  • • Faculty Engagement and Advancement Program for JSU faculty
    • – Design and development of a University-Wide Mentoring Program

 
IMPACT

  • Outcomes
    •  
    • JSU ADVANCE Formal Mentoring Program
    •  
    • The mentoring program matched external mentors for JSU junior STEM women faculty. Five STEM faculty and one non-STEM faculty participated in the first cohort. The program’s agenda frames the responsibilities of the mentor and mentee and includes: mentor and mentee meet in person at least once within the academic year; have periodic interaction; evaluation of faculty member’s research progress; development of mentees’ Individual Development Plans; mid-term progress reports; and attendance at faculty development workshops.
    •  
    • Formal Mentoring Workshops
    •  
    • Formal mentoring workshops were developed. In 2013, JSU ADVANCE sponsored a mentoring workshop, “The Importance of Mentoring in Career Development,” for the women faculty members chosen for the program. The goals of the workshop were to: 1) enhance the participants’ understanding of the importance and benefits of mentoring and 2) explain the roles a mentor can serve in a mentoring relationship; 3) acknowledge the role of professional organizations in career advancement; 4) promote an appreciation for the challenges faced by women faculty of color; 5) discuss the importance of the university developing support networks and resources for women faculty; 6) examine ways to improve research productivity; 7) understand the factors related to women advancing into administrative roles; and 8) discuss strategies related to advancing careers as faculty from tenure-track to tenure and post-tenure.
    •  
    • Faculty Engagement and Advancement Program (FEAP): Academic Year-Long Informal Mentoring/Networking Workshop Series
    •  
    • The Faculty Engagement and Advancement Program (FEAP) co-developed and led by the Center for University Scholars was designed to institutionalize the mentoring component of JSU ADVANCE. While the FEAP workshops were open to the entire campus community, the JSU ADVANCE co-sponsored workshops focused on issues of concern to STEM and SBS women or those that featured STEM-SBS women as panellists or presenters. Topics included Managing Your Time and Keeping Your Balance, International Reputation and Multi-Institutional Collaboration, Preparing for 3rd Year Review: Tenure and Promotion Expectations and Dossier Preparation, and Career Planning for Summer and Beyond.

 
 
LESSONS LEARNED

  • • STEM-SBS women desired mentoring relationships, but traditional mentor-mentee pairings with external mentors was a challenging approach and provided one more demand on the precious time of female faculty members. Therefore, a more informal mentoring program was established, which provided an opportunity for STEM-SBS female faculty member to be selective as to which workshops they could benefit from and would participate in. Additionally, female faculty could identify and select senior faculty with whom they could interact with on a one-on-one basis.
  • • STEM-SBS specific mentoring workshops were valuable; faculty most appreciated one-on-one time with external presenters. This provided them an ability to understand their challenges within a broader context. The STEM Women of Color Conclave provided one excellent example of connecting STEM-SBS faculty from multiple institutions.
  • • Informal group mentoring, such as the FEAP workshops which continued for five years, proved to be more conducive for STEM-SBS Women of Color, and all women and men at JSU.