Mentoring of faculty at BMCC takes many forms, formal and informal. Many academic departments pair incoming faculty with senior faculty in the department. This can help people new to BMCC get their bearings in a department.
In addition, there are several college-wide programs where experienced faculty lead groups of others in learning about or trying various teaching methodologies, such as learning communities or online learning. Some long-time programs use a faculty-led professional development model that resembles a mentoring relationship, such as our Writing Across the Curriculum program.
The Office of Faculty Affairs is expanding these efforts to help faculty create a mentoring network. In contrast to traditional notions of mentoring, we believe there is no one person who can assist a faculty member in all aspects of her career. When it comes to the three-legged stool of faculty professional responsibilities—teaching, research, and service—various people may help us to develop our practices. In addition, mentoring is useful for faculty at many stages of their careers, not only for those who are new or pursuing tenure. Mentoring has benefits for the mentor as well as the mentee.
The BMCC mentoring program consists of the following:
- Cohorts for New Faculty Orientation in fall
- Guidance for faculty preparing for tenure and promotion in fall and spring
- Support for faculty developing new online courses or teaching their first online course
- Matching faculty with research mentors within CUNY or at other institutions
In addition, we award micro-grants to faculty to help them develop and sustain their mentoring network. Guidelines are below.
There is a lot of literature (and even more folklore) about mentoring. In her book, The Mentor’s Guide, Lois J. Zachary shares some important thoughts in her preface. Here are some of the points she makes (xix):
- Mentoring is a process of engagement. No one can mentor without engagement.
- Mentoring can be a powerful growth experience for both the mentor and the mentee. Mentors will learn new things about their mentee, themselves, and their organizations.
- Mentoring with staying power focuses on the learners, the learning process, and the learning.
Faculty are welcome to request a mentor or volunteer to become a mentor. For more information, contact Associate Dean Jim Berg.
For further information about building a network of mentors, see a series of articles by Kerry Ann Rockquemore for Inside Higher Education, and this article on “mutual mentoring,” by Yun, Baldi and Sorcinelli (2016). For more about how to be a mentor, see The Mentor’s Guide: Facilitating Effective Learning Relationships (2nd edition, 2012), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.