What does it mean to mentor?
According to the MSN Encarta Dictionary, a mentor is:
“An experienced advisor and supporter: somebody, usually older and more experienced, who provides advice and support to, and watches over and fosters the progress of, a younger, less-experienced person.”
In other words, a mentor is an advisor, counselor, guide, tutor, teacher, guru and even a merchant of hope.
As former students themselves, members are well-equipped to mentor current students who are trying to grow strong, deep roots in their respective disciplines. Research bears out the positive effect that faculty mentoring has on students. For example:
- Mentoring enhances a student’s commitment to higher education (impacting academic commitment).
- Mentoring increases a student’s sense of belonging in and ownership of his or her discipline and the university (impacting social commitment).
- Mentoring helps an underrepresented student adjust to, succeed in, and persist through college (impacting retention and graduation rates).