Supporting faculty mentoring through the use of creative technologies

Debra L. Franko (Department of Applied Psychology, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Jan Rinehart (ADVANCE and Office of the Provost, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Kathleen Kenney (ADVANCE and Office of the Provost, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Mary Loeffelholz (Office of the Provost, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Barbara Guthrie (School of Nursing, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Paula Caligiuri (Department of International Business and Strategy, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Publication date: 7 March 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Mentoring of junior faculty members (i.e. professors) in higher education has been documented to be critical to their academic success which most often takes the form of receiving tenure and/or promotion to higher academic ranks at universities in the USA. A “junior faculty member” would be defined as someone who has not yet been tenured or promoted and is usually within the first five years of their academic appointment. However, mentoring relationships can sometimes be difficult to build and momentum for continuous mentoring throughout the pre-tenure period can be a challenge to maintain. One of the concerns identified by mentees is the importance of regular meetings with mentors and the concomitant difficulty of knowing what to address in these meetings so as to make them productive and helpful. Mentors, most often senior faculty members, note that they do not always know the most relevant issues to discuss with junior faculty during mentoring meetings. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In an effort to address these issues, the authors describe here the development of using creative technology to support a new mentoring system that provides structured prompts and reminders to both mentors and mentees and uses tools to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the mentoring relationship.

Findings

This paper highlights a pilot program, describing the rationale for and stages in the development of an e-mail-based and mobile-based program to improve the quality of mentoring for junior faculty at one higher education institution. Focus group data provided by stakeholders (e.g. faculty, department chairs, and associate deans) are provided.

Originality/value

Professional development and academic success for junior faculty members may be strengthened by greater attention to formal mentoring strategies such as the one described here.

Keywords

Citation

Franko, D., Rinehart, J., Kenney, K., Loeffelholz, M., Guthrie, B. and Caligiuri, P. (2016), "Supporting faculty mentoring through the use of creative technologies", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 54-64. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-10-2015-0029

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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