AUC Pilots Faculty Mentorship Program

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AUC’s faculty mentoring program aims to work with new faculty members to provide professional and personal guidance in different areas. Starting this academic year, new faculty members will have the opportunity to take part in group mentoring sessions and have a one-on-one mentor to help in getting acquainted with AUC’s culture, policies and procedures and gain advice in teaching strategies, development of independent scholarship/research, writing successful grant proposals, accepting service opportunities and more.

“The goal of this initiative is to support the success of faculty,” said Zeinab Amin, associate provost for assessment and accreditation. “An effective mentoring program can guarantee a smooth integration of new faculty, enhance their ability to add value to the institution and promote a more positive institutional climate.”

In Spring 2018, AUC Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman formed an Advisory Committee from three highly regarded academics from top universities in the United States to review the current policies and processes related to promotion and tenure at AUC. The committee found that introducing ongoing, meaningful mentoring to faculty at all levels of the University would be beneficial to both the faculty and AUC. 

Over the summer, the provost’s office worked with different department chairs to identify the key features of a successful mentoring program. The parties involved reached a consensus that the program will include two components: group mentoring and one-on -one mentoring. 

“There was emphasis that no one mentor can play all roles, and new faculty can benefit from group mentoring and multiple experiences,” Amin said. “We recommended creating a supportive mentoring community.”

Each mentee will be paired with a faculty mentor. Department chairs will oversee and coordinate mentoring efforts for their faculty and help mentees make the most of their mentoring relationships. Mentor/mentee pairs can select each other or department chairs can make the formal assignment. Mentors and mentees should establish the scope of mentoring, and the agenda should be led by the needs of the mentee, whether assigned by the department or self-selected, should establish what the scope of mentoring will be. It is expected that mentors understand that this is a commitment and put aside enough time for their mentee.

One-on-one mentoring will cover knowledge about department specific standards and practices, as well as discipline-specific academic and career guidance in addition to specific needs of the mentee. Coupled with one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring promotes positive interactions, builds meaningful and supportive relationships among peers, provides a forum for reflective dialogue and creates a support network for each mentee.

Some topics covered in group sessions include, enhancing teaching effectiveness; development of independent scholarship/research; writing successful grant proposals; better balancing of teaching, research, committee work and other responsibilities and more. This semester, group mentoring will focus on two domains: teaching and learning and liberal arts. The teaching and learning domain will be led by Aziza Ellozy, associate provost for transformative learning and teaching and the Center for Learning and Teaching team, headed by Hoda Mostafa. This group’s efforts will focus on creating a learning community to cultivate a cultural shift towards innovative pedagogy and quality learning and teaching at AUC.

The liberal arts domain, led by Ghada Elshimi, dean of the Academy of Liberal Arts, will provide new faculty with a community of colleagues to learn about AUC’s liberal arts mission and discuss ways to orient one’s teaching and professional activities to support this mission. 

Department chairs will need to provide feedback at the end of each academic year to assess the effectiveness of the program and identify areas for improvement. The program will be assessed through department chairs providing data on the competencies and satisfaction of the mentor, competencies and satisfaction of the mentee, quality of the support provided by mentors, achievement of defined goals and outcomes for mentoring,  tools and resources needed to support the mentor in his/her role  and any other aspect as they see  relevant.