Mentoring Case Studies

Part III includes case studies of the different academic populations, such as undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff, providing 11 case studies. Chapters 16 through 19 include four case studies focused on undergraduate students. Chapters 20 and 21 describe two programs focused on mentoring graduate students. Chapters 22 through 24 explore three case studies in which the mentees are faculty, and Chapters 25 and 26 are case studies for staff. This book contains one more case study in Part IV, Chapter 28. We placed this last case study in Part IV because it is an example of a networked approach to mentoring.

The authors for Part III were given the same organizational outline for their cases, and they were encouraged to follow it where possible. If authors did not have specific content for a topic, they did not include the related heading. This guidance encouraged the authors to cover relevant themes presented in Part I and Part II of this book, such as providing their theoretical frameworks or describing their matching process. This approach created uniformity, improved clarity, and enabled easy study comparisons. The organizational outline also allows the reader to quickly skim the case study and find the content most pertinent to them. For example, the operational definition of the program is at the beginning of the case study. The following is the organizational outline recommended to the authors. This outline also served as an overview of the development, implementation, evaluation, and funding process. Note that this outline loosely corresponds to Figure 7.1.

1. Mentoring Context and Program Development

  • The Need for This Program (Chapter 5)
  • Purpose and Objects of Program (Chapter 8)
  • Organizational Setting and Population Served (Chapters 5 and 6)
  • Organizational Support for Mentoring Program and Infrastructure (Chapter 6)
  • Operational Definition (Chapter 1)
  • Theoretical Framework (Chapter 2)
  • Typology of Program (Chapters 3, 27)

2. Mentoring Inputs and Resources

  • Curriculum Description (Chapter 10)
  • Funding (Chapter 15)

3. Mentoring Activities

  • Recruitment Activities (Chapter 9)
  • Selection Activities (Chapter 9)
  • Matching Activities (Chapter 9)
  • Training Activities (Chapters 10 and 11)
  • Strategies to Monitor and Support Relationships (Chapters 10, 11, and 12)
  • Formative and Summative Evaluation (Chapter 13)

4. Mentoring Outputs

  • Number of Mentors, Number Mentees, Ratio Mentor/Mentee (Chapter 13)

5. Mentoring Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Outcomes of the Program (Chapters 4, 8, and 13)
  • Sustaining the Program (Chapters 7, 13, and 15)
  • Lessons Learned
  • Recommendations for Future Designers and Stakeholders of Academic Mentoring Programs

Case Studies

Chapters 16 through 19, Case Studies for Undergraduate Students as Mentees

The case study in Chapter 16 takes place at The Ohio State University. In this case study, Yu, Black, and Kaletunc describe the Aspiration for Women’s Advancement and Retention in Engineering and Sciences (AWARES) program and how the program empowers women graduating from engineering and science majors. Women students are paired with professional women engineers working in the industry for one-on-one mentoring.

The case study in Chapter 17, by Schroeder, Hackel, and Sawyer, occurs at the University of New Mexico (UNM). At UNM, the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Collaborative Center staff recruit entry-level undergraduate students. These students are paired with engineers and scientists from the nearby Air Force Research Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory.

In Chapter 18, Spears, Hales, and Lewis describe a hierarchical one-to-one faculty-to-student mentoring program offered throughout the statewide campus system to all undergraduate students at Utah State University. This program has increased undergraduate student retention rates, a sense of belonging, and improved academic performance management.

The case study in Chapter 19 also takes place at Utah State University. In this case study, Grewe and Kleiner describe the first-year-experience Connections program. This program plays a critical role in retention efforts. In addition, Grewe and Kleiner recently added a yearlong mentoring component to provide the social support and guidance many students need to succeed in the academy.

Chapters 20 and 21, Case Studies for Graduate Students as Mentees

In Chapter 20, Cowin uses co-mentoring circles for graduate students at Washington State University who are veteran teachers, instructional coaches, or deans of students who are transitioning to their new role in a K–12 principal certification program. Co-mentoring circles are facilitated peer groups and can provide ready access to co-mentors without waiting for one expert mentor to be available.

Chapter 21, authored by Flores, Shenberger-Trujillo, and Montes, focuses on high-impact mentoring practices for graduate STEM students. The authors make a case for inclusive and asset/strengths-based mentoring to increase doctoral degrees awarded to historically underrepresented minorities. In addition, this case study highlights the National Science Foundation Bridge to the Doctorate and a Regional Collaborative Alliance to diversify STEM faculty.

Chapters 22 through 24, Case Studies for Faculty as Mentees

In Chapter 22, Clabaugh focuses on adjunct faculty at Pacific Oaks College. Clabaugh describes how and why autonomy-supportive instruction (ASI) is embedded in all elements of the program structures. Mentee-mentor pairs, as defined by Clabaugh, engage in and apply ASI in their mentoring relationship, teaching, peer observations, and reflective practice conversations.

Chapter 23, authored by Romero-Leggott, Myers, Sussman, and Hartley, describes the mentoring program Advancing Institutional Mentoring Excellence (AIME) pilot project created at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. AIME fosters an institutional culture of belonging and rigorously evaluates best practices for mentoring faculty of color toward promotion and tenure.

Recognizing that mentored faculty are more likely to navigate the tenure process successfully and become engaged in the academy, Marshall, in Chapter 24, highlights a mentoring program at Central Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Services. This comprehensive, research-based program includes summer support, orientation, faculty mentorship, professional development, and peer interactions for tenure-track faculty.

Chapters 25 and 26, Case Studies for Staff as Mentees

As editors, we are keenly aware that an often-overlooked—yet vital to the university’s mission and operations—academy population is staff employees. The author of Chapter 25, Amy Hawkins, eloquently states, “In higher education, staff sometimes feel like the third wheel, the step-child, the forgotten ones sitting on the sidelines as students and faculty bask in the warm glow of academia.” Therefore, we include two case studies in which the mentees are staff members with the goal of staff empowerment.

In Chapter 25, Hawkins describes the University of New Mexico’s Staff Council Mentorship Program. The Staff Council was created to offer recommendations to the university regarding staff development, morale, needs, pay, and benefits. The Staff Council Mentoring Program matches more experienced staff members with elected councilors to help guide ideas, projects, and initiatives.

Arizona State University’s (ASU) Commission on the Status of Women has developed an extensive university-wide staff mentoring and development program. In Chapter 26, Engler describes how this program pairs staff mentees with mentors, allowing mentees to identify their strengths and consider their long-term career trajectory at ASU. In addition, Engler details the program’s structure and development, operational management, and the financial investment needed to support this opportunity for staff.


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