Agriculture faculty perspectives on undergraduate mentoring: Definitions, practices, and processes

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Date
2009-01-01
Authors
Wolfe, Ashley
Retallick, Michael
Retallick, Michael
Martin, Robert
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Agricultural Education and Studies
Abstract

Literature indicates that a wide and diverse understanding of mentoring at the undergraduate level exists. However, the literature is sparse regarding what mentors know about existing mentoring processes and related practices. This study sought to describe faculty perspectives regarding undergraduate mentoring within Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Findings indicate that faculty members realize that mentoring is a complex role and it is more than just academic advising. Based upon a synthesis of faculty member definitions of undergraduate mentoring, the following definition is offered: a form of teaching where faculty members provide advice, guidance, and counsel in the areas of academic, career, and personal development, which can occur either individually or in small groups. Faculty members believe mentoring is a process that requires skill development. It is recommended that the college offer professional development opportunities focused on skill enhancement and best practices in the areas of career, personal, and academic development. Faculty members prefer short workshops and not more than two sessions on any one topic.

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This article is from NACTA Journal 53 (2009): 44. Posted with permission.

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