Mentoring Functions Practiced by Undergraduate Faculty in Agriculture
The literature has indicated that faculty and administrators are often uncertain about how to foster effective mentoring relationships with undergraduate students. This study analyzed the mentoring functions of faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University regarding the undergraduate mentoring process. Six mentoring functions (informal contact, role modeling, direct assistance, demonstration, assistance with professional development plans, and observation and feedback) were identified in the literature. A previous questionnaire was used to measure the extent to which faculty practiced each mentoring function. Findings indicated faculty were “often” practicing the mentoring functions. Results indicated consistency in the mentoring process practiced by the faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This study has implications related to faculty training and development. Because of the impact mentoring has on the psychosocial and career development of undergraduates, it is imperative that faculty address each of the six functions of mentoring.
This article is from Journal of Agricultural Education 49 (2008): 99, doi:10.5032/jae.2008.03099. Posted with permission.