This article explores mentoring in higher education. What exactly are the benefits for all parts included in the mentoring progress, and suggestions for improvements in mentoring management are discussed to have a better overview of the current mentoring situation.
What is mentoring
Mentoring in higher education can have benefits for both a career-based as well as psychological function. It usually is a free-from-power relationship between the mentor and the mentee and other parts such as the institution itself. These two parts aim for a common goal, but usually, the mentor has a higher set of experience and skills.
Parts involved in mentoring progress
At first, mentoring supplies a career function such as coaching or even sponsorship, and then it provides a more profound and more mental process, as a role model or a friend. Indeed, the mentor usually is a role model, a coach, or even a friend to the mentee. Universities and colleges widely use mentoring worldwide to increase the success and retention of a student or a group of students. Usually, the faculty collaborates with a small group of students for about a year. Moreover, this can include senior students mentoring juniors. ACS ASOMI College of Sciences pays extra attention to mentoring programs and is getting inspired by them to put them into practice as soon as possible.
Different types of mentoring
There are, though, different varieties of mentoring which create several benefits. For instance, if the faculty wants to help the student choose the right program and help them with career development, then it is from faculty to student mentoring. In some other cases, colleges and universities employ students who already have earned their degrees in the same institution to tutor new students. Nevertheless, the most common form of mentoring is between senior and junior faculty members. They can be team-based or one-to-one.
Mentoring has thus several positive sides. When it comes to the organization itself, the most important benefit is, without a doubt, the increment of teaching and learning quality. Other services might include better connectivity and network creation between academics, staff, and students. It might be perceived as informal professional training by the mentors. As long as the latter is concerned, creativity is sure one of the main advantages; for instance, collaborating with new (and usually younger) people can help develop new ideas.
Benefits for mentors and mentees
Mentors also can feel their purpose fulfilled as the mentees become heirs of their knowledge. Mentees, on the other hand, can adapt more quickly to the new organization. They can have more success in reaching their full potential thanks to their mentors’ ideas, connections, and suggestions.
While it is generally expected from senior faculty members to mentor juniors, mentoring is not what all senior faculty members are committed to; nevertheless, more benefits and a better organization of mentoring programs could come in handy. Often official mentoring rates are not so high as expected, but this does not mean that it does not happen since most of the mentoring programs and relationships can be considered unofficial.
By being informal and thus, built up mainly on voluntary situations, specific guidelines and frameworks should be pointed out for better mentoring programs. Focus points for guided orientation, mired programming, monitoring, and administrators’ involvement are just some guidelines for putting up few but specific regulations for better mentoring management. Moreover, mentors are often overloaded by work and other responsibilities, including often also lack time. Therefore, mentoring should be rewarded, whether in economic or in other rewarding terms. Of course, mentees’ gratitude is satisfying, but sometimes it is not enough, especially overloaded-by-work senior members.
In other words
Mentoring can be satisfying, but a though work, it should therefore be rewarded. Even if different types of mentoring relationships are beneficial for all the parts involved in the mentoring progress, there are still some improvements that have to be made.