Mentoring Resources: Getting Started

Mentoring Timeline

Spring / Summer Semesters

  1. Program Chair + Mentee discuss new mentee’s goals & priorities for mentoring, including any specific mentors they would like (requests can be made, but not guaranteed). The process of assigning mentoring scenarios is both structured and flexible. The Program Chairs will start the process by discussing with the mentees what their goals and priorities would be for mentoring, and how a possible mentoring scenario would work toward this. Mentees will be able to request specific mentors, but assignment of mentors will depend on the mentors’ availability, suitability, and willingness to mentor. This discussion with mentees (new hires) should occur as early as possible in the Spring/Summer before they arrive at the College and begin on the tenure-track.
  2. Program Chairs, Senior Associate Dean for R+CP, Associate Dean for AI, Chief of Staff meet to discuss mentoring scenarios for new mentees and any changes to mentoring relationships + mentoring program. They then reach out to their networks to obtain mentors for mentees or additional mentors as needed. After the Program Chair discusses with mentees and determines their goals, priorities, and preferred mentoring scenarios, the Program Chairs will then discuss with other College Leadership (Senior Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice, Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives, and Chief of Staff) on strategy for the mentoring assignments. College leaders will be able to reach out to their networks for mentors, and help identify appropriate mentors for each mentee. College leaders should also all be aware of the final mentoring assignments; however, Program Chairs will be primarily responsible for leading, coordinating, and setting them up.
  3. Program Chairs inform mentees and mentors of their assigned mentoring relationships, any new/different mentoring relationships, and standard expectations of participating in mentoring program. Mentoring assignments should be finalized by the late Summer before a mentee arrives at the College and begins on the tenure track. Program Chairs will inform mentees and mentors of their mentoring assignments, provide instruction to schedule their first mentoring meeting for the upcoming Fall semester, and clarify expectations of participating in the mentoring program, in particular, how the notes from meetings once per semester will be made available to the Program Chair. Knowledge of this assignment will also help to prepare the mentee as part of their onboarding activities.
  4. Established Mentees, Mentors, and College Leadership all participate in annual review sessions to give mentees feedback on their work in progress. The current tenure-track mentees will have an annual opportunity to “pin-up” and receive feedback on their work-in-progress. These review discussions will be collective and open with all other current mentors and mentees. Depending on the nature of the mentees’ work, the format for this session can vary significantly, including options for giving lightning talks or presenting visuals/models/prototypes for discussion. The goal of these sessions is to provide an annual event for mentees to consider how their tenure package is coming together, receive feedback from a broader group of faculty mentors, and gain greater understanding through seeing other mentees’ work reviewed. These sessions are also intended to build a sense of collegiality and awareness of work happening among the faculty, possibly identifying opportunities for collaboration.
  5. (after Year 1) Mentors & Mentees schedule another mentoring meeting to occur during the Spring/Summer semester.
  6. (after Year 1)  Mentees & Mentors provide feedback in their FARs on how their mentoring relationships + the program is going for them.

Fall Semester

  1. Mentors reach out to mentees to schedule their first mentoring meeting to occur during the mentee’s first Fall semester. Established Mentees and Mentors schedule another mentoring meeting to occur during the Fall semester. Assigned mentees and mentors should plan to have mentoring meetings at least once per semester. This cadence provides a minimum frequency to ensure mentees receive a base-level of feedback on their progress towards tenure. Less frequent meetings may result in guidance or feedback that is too little too late. More frequent meetings may be too difficult to schedule; however, mentees are encouraged to seek more frequent, informal advice or guidance from their mentors as needed. The Roadmap to Tenure guide provides a series of key discussion points for each semester’s meeting. 
  2. By Thanksgiving Break, Program Chairs follow up with new mentoring relationships to ensure they have either already met or have scheduled to meet in Fall semester. Program Chairs may follow up with any mentoring assignments that have not provided them with meeting notes. This is to give Program Chairs some oversight of mentoring that has occurred, or if meetings have not yet happened.

Winter Semester

  1. Mentors and Mentees schedule another mentoring meeting to occur during the Winter semester.
  2. Mentees to meet with their Prog. Chair, Sen. Assoc. Dean for R+CP, Assoc. Dean for AI to discuss their progress + trajectory. In the Winter semester, mentees will meet with their Program Chair, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice, and Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives to check in on the mentee, discuss progress, mentoring assignments, possible synergies across research and teaching assignments, and provide an additional layer of support. Any issues or changes that may need to occur can be discussed at this meeting. This meeting also offers an opportunity for the mentee to discuss how their assigned mentoring scenario is going, and if action needs to be taken to address any issues. If changes are required, the Program Chair will work with the other College leaders to initiate these changes.

Different Mentoring Scenarios for Different Types of Support

The mentoring models outlined below are a starting point for mentees to discuss with their Program Chair as to what scenario is most appropriate for them. If desired, mentees also have the option to choose a hybrid of these mentoring models. Phase 1 (tenure-track focus) of the mentoring program is set up as a framework through which mentees can customize the support they require. Each new tenure-track mentee will discuss their goals and priorities for mentoring with their Program Chair, and the Program Chair will work with the mentee, potential mentors, and other College leadership to determine suitable matches.

These options are also intended to be flexible enough to be available to new faculty, as well as to work with any existing mentoring structures. It should also be noted that the College mentoring program will be across both the architecture and urban planning departments, enabling integration of faculty from both departments as mentees or mentors. Mentees are able to request for mentors outside their department and the College, although finding a match outside of the College cannot be guaranteed.

At the end of each year, mentees and mentors will have an opportunity to reflect on how the past year of mentoring has gone, and make any adjustments/changes as necessary. It is expected that mentoring relationships will require adjustments/changes over time, as mentee and mentor circumstances and priorities will continue to evolve; however, it is also possible for a mentoring scenario to remain the same for the full duration of the mentee’s tenure timeline if desired by both mentee and mentor(s).

One-to-one mentoring relationship model.

This model provides a clear point-person for each mentee to go to for questions and guidance. The smaller group size also enables simpler scheduling of meetings, and can possibly allow for more frequent communication as needed. In this model, it is expected that the mentor will initiate the first meeting, but both the mentee and mentor will be responsible for ensuring subsequent meetings are scheduled. Mentees should meet with their mentors at least once per semester. An agenda for guidance should be prepared to serve as discussion points for each meeting; meeting notes should be taken from these meetings and then made available to the Program Chair. The role of the mentor should be clearly defined and limited, as it is important to note that no single mentor can be expected to provide all the support and guidance that a mentee will need. It is expected that mentees (with the help of their mentor) will be able to seek additional mentoring networks as needed. A risk to be mindful of with the one-to-one mentoring model is that if the mentee-mentor relationship is not positive, there is not another assigned mentor for that mentee to initially fall back on; however, all mentees will have access to College leadership to discuss any issues that arise, and make any changes to mentoring assignments if needed. 

Mentoring team model.

This model provides a single mentee with a team/committee of 2-5 mentors. One of the mentors is assigned the role of chair, who is primarily responsible for ensuring that the mentee receives the support that they need, and for initiating and setting up the mentoring relationship. A mentoring team that provides a variety of strengths/expertise can be very beneficial for a mentee, providing the mentee with a range of perspectives, and the option of reaching out to different mentors regarding different issues. The mentoring team also provides group accountability for guidance offered in meetings, and to ensure regular scheduling of meetings. A significant risk with mentoring teams, however, is the difficulty in finding time for this larger group to meet, potentially reducing the frequency of meeting, and therefore the level of mentoring offered. To manage scheduling difficulties, a mentee does not always have to meet with their whole mentoring team at the same time, but has the option to meet with some or one of their mentors at a time. However, the mentee should plan to have at least one mentoring meeting per semester with one or more of their mentors. An agenda for guidance should be prepared to serve as discussion points for each meeting; meeting notes should be taken from these meetings and then made available to the Program Chair. 

Division of labor model.

This model has clearly defined and separate mentors for different areas of coaching; for example, a mentor for research, another mentor for teaching, and another mentor for tenure and promotion processes. This could be set up in a mentoring team model, or in a group mentoring model where one mentor is assigned to groups of mentees for that specific area of coaching.

On-call mentor pool model.

A group of eligible mentors are formally identified as being part of a pool of mentors who are available to answer any questions and provide guidance for mentees on an as-needed basis. This provides the mentees with a wider network of mentors to reach out to, without concern that they would be burdening additional mentors. The major risk with this model is that the mentees do not reach out to the mentors at all, as it is largely a mentee-initiated structure, and that the mentee “does not know what they do not know” in order to reach out and obtain the support that they need. There is also a limited accountability structure to ensure regular meetings and feedback on mentee progress. As such, mentees should still plan to meet with one or more of their mentors from their mentor pool at least once per semester. An agenda for guidance should be prepared to serve as discussion points for each meeting; meeting notes should be taken from these meetings and then made available to the Program Chair. 

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