Book Review, mentor, mentoring, Professional Development

#BookReview: Mentoring Programs That Work

One of my research projects I am currently working focuses on professional mentoring, specifically mentoring experiences for professional learning and development offered by professional organizations/associations. Over the past couple of years, I have been fortunate to speak with a number of higher education professionals who have been part of a formal mentoring program, either as a mentor or a learner (a.k. a. mentee, protege, or leader). It has been great to learn about their how mentoring has met their professional development needs, helped to meet career goals, and navigated both personal/professional situations faced in the workplace.  As I finish a few more interviews, I hope to wrap up data collection/analysis to share findings/implications of mentoring experiences later this year — I promise. Part of this research design includes understanding how professional learning organizations/associations structure and administer mentoring programs for its membership. In speaking with mentoring participants and coordinators from a variety of mentoring programs that serve higher education professionals (Thank you: NACADA ELP, ACPAgrow, OACUHO, and NASPA Candid Conversations 365), I hope to offer insights and practical implications based on these mentoring experiences.

In my literature review, I stumbled upon, Mentoring Programs That Work by Jenn Labin, which was recently published by the Association for Talent Development. Based on my own thread of scholarship, I wanted to review and learn what suggestions this author had to provide based on her experiences in mentoring programs in a variety of industries.Although each mentoring program will have its own objectives and unique needs for participants, one constant component across all programs is the need to form connections to support an effective mentoring relationship. Mentoring relationships will be the cornerstone for skill development, personalized learning, and knowledge acquisition within any professional domain. Unlike typical educational training programs or professional development/learning, mentoring programs are more uniquely tailored for talent development needs. That being said, I am not sure we put the time or effort into preparing mentors and learners who enter this type of learning and development program.  I agree with Labin’s sentiments: “Mentoring programs are important.” Mentoring is an individual, learner-driven experience where proteges work with mentors to create a learner-focused solution. Mentors can support learners to acquire a specific knowledge domain, scaffold professional work situations, and develop tacit skills required to advance in their career field. Labin (2017) believes most mentoring programs fail if their goals are not aligned to talent/professional needs, inability to scale and sustain initiatives, and/or as a result of little stakeholders involvement or championship. I am sharing this brief overview of this book, as I think it has practical solutions for managers or program coordinators who want to develop (or improve) a successful mentoring program, while also supporting the mentoring experience and empowering mentors with tools they will need for this type of professional learning.

This book presents practical ideas and examples to outline the AXLES Framework for developing mentoring programs. The AXLES approach is similar to the ADDIE model for designing learning solutions, which will be familiar to my instructional designers or training industry colleagues. Labin introduces the components of AXLES in the introduction chapter of her book (2017, p. xv-xvi):

  • A = Align to Purpose: define the intention/goals of the program; identify critical questions for program success, and establish strategic partners within the organization to support the mentoring program
  • X = Design the Experience: identify the mentoring program structure, schedule, participant matching, and expectations; what are the deliverables, outcomes, and lifecycle of the program you want to design?
  • L = Launch Your Program: this is the implementation of the mentoring program (initially or annually); Will you have an orientation meeting, agenda, or focused platform/communication method to get the program going?
  • E = Evaluate Effectiveness: What will be the types of measures or metrics for the mentoring program?; identify program success from both narratives of participants and potential data collection with milestones and participant input
  • S = Support Participants: design and develop resources, webinars, videos, or other performance support aids to scaffold mentor-learner interactions; these could be a participant playbook, monthly meeting agendas, or even conversation guides/resources for discussions to encourage connections for these mentoring relationships

Mentoring is defined in a number of different ways, and the approach for a mentoring experience will be individual and unique depending on your organization/institutions needs. Chapter 2 helps to identify both the direction and talent development gaps you would like to address within your own mentoring program. This foundational chapter requires readers to identify the purpose, success measures, and the focus of the program by examining both the learners’ (protege) benefits and mentors’ benefits for involvement. A mentoring program could be developed to meet technical needs or to transfer institutional knowledge, or it might be created for talent development/growth of professionals within your organization. Identifying the objectives, purpose statement, and the “role of mentoring” will be a critical phase for those constructing this type of training design.

Chapter 3 offers suggestions for mentoring program designs. For the practical organization of a mentoring program, you are encouraged to outline questions for planning the program structure, identify the program schedule, consider how to conduct participant matching, and describe how learners and mentors will participate in the program. The considerations for “cultural alignment” were addressed early in this chapter, as this type of professional development might be executed differently based on the organizations need and its learning culture. A mentoring program structure type could include traditional or 1:1 mentoring, reverse mentoring, mentor-led (group mentoring), peer-led (mentoring circles), or a hybrid of any of these formats.  Additionally, this section of the books helps readers to consider the schedule length, entry, and programmatic features, such as the matching process for mentoring and potential technology solutions for support. The last stages of design decisions required for planning mentoring programs involve the learner and mentor engagement, specifically participants entry and exit into the program and outlining operating directions, guidelines, and expectations to create successful mentoring experiences.

Chapter 4 and 5 offer insights and practical suggestions for launching and evaluating a mentoring program, respectively. I appreciated the potential suggestions for professional learning opportunities, such as communication preferences, setting goals and development plans, skill-building workshops, and other resources that could be curated for a mentoring program (e.g. icebreakers, readings, teambuilding activities, conversation topics, etc.). For evaluation purposes, Labin (2017) mapped the Kirkpatrick Four Levels of Evaluation for review of a sample mentoring program and offered strategies for how qualitative and quantitative data might offer measurement insights during a program review. Potential metrics for success could be conducted by observation of performance improvement/changes, case-based examination of the mentoring relationship, individual development plans/goals met, reflections or narratives shared in milestone reports, and engagement of mentors and leaders within the organization.

Regardless of the industry or occupation, I think mentoring program administrators/coordinators will find Labin’s book both informative and practical for designing a comprehensive mentoring program that supports productive mentoring experiences. There are a number of suggestions for defining effective mentoring behaviors, onboarding participants, engaging in regular skill building and/or learning activities, and considerations for how to engage participants throughout a mentoring program experience. Administrators of mentoring programs will gain a number of valuable ideas for communication planning, participant recruitment, mentor-learner pair matching, supporting mentors in their role, potential ways to report and offer metrics for program measurement, learning material development/maintenance, dealing with issues, and supporting participants throughout the mentoring program cycle. I appreciate how each chapter offers applied examples of mentoring perspectives from learners or various industry leaders, and the end of each chapter offers key insights, exercises, and questions for individual reflection and potential team discussions. Additionally, there are a number of support resources and example materials in the appendices of this book to help guide mentoring program development.

Reference:

Labin, J. (2017). Mentoring programs that work. Alexandria, VA: Association for Talent Development Press.

*Full disclosure: The book, Mentoring Programs That Work, was sent to me by @ATD Press to read and review. As this is a valuable contribution for mentoring program development to support professional learning and development, I am more than pleased to offer this review on my blog. Thank you!” 

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mentor, mentoring, Research

Research Study: Exploring Mentoring Experiences

Mentoring is often a relationship between a less experienced individual, called a mentee or protégé, and a more experienced individual known as a mentor. Traditionally, mentoring is viewed as a face-to-face, long-term relationship and interactions between a supervisory adult and a novice student that fosters the mentee’s professional, academic, or personal development (Donaldson, Ensher, & Grant-Vallone, 2000). The typical examples of mentoring focus on a senior and junior configuration; however there are growing experiences and models that vary in mentoring experiences. Different structures of mentoring (e.g. formal, peer, group, network, and informal mentoring) support career goals, while other mentoring opportunities help contribute to a particular field or discipline.

mentoring

About the Research Study

A number of our professional organizations offer mentoring opportunities and structured mentoring programs as a form of learning and development. For this research study, our team would like to learn more about MENTORING EXPERIENCES; specifically, how these experiences impact the participants (i.e. mentors,protégé, and program coordinators) with regards to their personal and professional development. We are in the early days of learning the how mentoring has impacted individueals and what mentoring means for professionals.

mentor_words

We seek to explore mentoring through the shared narrative of mentoring experiences to answer the following research questions:

  • What influence does mentoring have on personal, professional, academic, and career development?
  • How does mentoring impact contributions to a professional association and/or learning organizations?
  • How does mentoring contribute to a professional field or industry?

Support our Mentoring Research!

Phase 1: Survey http://bit.ly/ExploringMentoring

This survey asks both open- and close-ended questions, and it will take 15-20 minutes to complete. Respondents will be asked about personal perspectives on mentoring based on their own experiences and demographic information:

If you have had more than one formal mentoring role and/or formal mentoring experience – please feel free to submit another survey response. This survey will remain open for several weeks if you decide to complete this survey or if you wish to pass this along to other colleagues who can share their mentoring experience.

Phase 2: Research Interviews

 http://bit.ly/MentoringInterviews 

We want to learn more about mentoring programs and its impact on personal and professional development, to its influence on the field/discipline, and to understand how mentoring supports professional associations who create these programs.The interview is expected to take 45-60 minutes and no sensitive questions will be asked during it. Your participation in this study is completely voluntary and optional.If you are willing to talk with a researcher via phone or Skype about your experiences, please click on this link to complete the informed consent formhttp://bit.ly/MentoringInterviews

Thanks to the members of the Exploring Mentoring Research Team who are supporting to this study:

  • Mariya Gavrilova Aguilar, University of North Texas
  • Laura Lambeth, Oregon State University
  • Sara Ackerson, Washington State University Vancouver
  • Ed Cabellon, Bridgewater State University

With thanks for support and development also from:

  • Craig McGill, Florida International University
  • Erin Justyna, Texas Tech University
  • Brandan Lowden, Pikes Peak Community College

For further questions or inquiries about this study, please contact Dr. Laura Pasquini (Laura.Pasquini@unt.edu), as we would be more than happy to follow up with questions, additional support, recruitment, and/or collaboration.

Reference:

Donaldson, S. I., Ensher, E. A., & Grant-Vallone, E. J. (2000). Longitudinal examination of mentoring relationships on organizational commitment and citizenship behavior. Journal of Career Development, 26, 233-249.

mentor, mentoring

Thank Your Mentor Day!

Happy THANK YOUR MENTOR Day! January, with January 17, 2016 being International Mentoring Day, was proclaimed National Mentoring Month by President Obama. This mentoring campaign is targeted at supporting youth and mentoring IRL (#MentoringIRL).

miyagi_mentor

Although my youth is behind me, I can definitely say a number of people helped to get me where I am today. A mentor can listen, teach, guide, and coach. Can you think about the mentor(s) in your life? Where would you be today had it not been for their support?

Here are a few simple ways the National Mentor Campaign suggests to THANK your mentor:

  1. Contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation;
  2. Express your gratitude on social media; (#MentorIRL)
  3. Pass on what you received by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community;
  4. Make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program in your mentor’s honor; and,
  5. Write a tribute to your mentor for posting on the Who Mentored You? website.

You can download a Thank you card from the Campaign Marketing Materials page.

As a thank you to all the mentors who have supported me and the mentees I have learned from, it would be only fitting to introduce this research study on this topic; however now I am interested learning how mentoring supports professionals and the field they work in:

Exploring Mentoring Programs in Professional Learning Organizations

Have you been part of a mentoring experience? Tell us about it. I am grateful for the informal and formal mentoring experiences, and I would not be interested in this study if it weren’t for the formal mentoring programs I have been a part of (shout out to ACPAgrow & NACADA ELP).  If you have any formal or informal mentoring experiences, please take a few minutes to share by filling out this survey:

http://bit.ly/ExploringMentoring

More about the research study: https://techknowtools.wordpress.com/mentoring/

#phdchat, PhD, Professional Development

Have Conferences, Will Travel

Apparently when it rains, it pours – for conference proposal acceptances, that is. Since this semester is light on course work, heavy on dissertation proposal research, and I have a amazingly supportive supervisor/department, I will be fortunate enough to be able to attend a few conferences this term.

Laura Pasquini Where is Shee

Here is the rundown for my tentative CONFERENCE travel schedule:

Dalton Institute 2013 http://studentvalues.fsu.edu/2013-Dalton-Institute
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL  January 30-February 2nd   Follow: #dalton13 Invited Keynote: Student Development 2.0: Optimizing Social Media to Connect Your Campus

AHRD Conference http://www.ahrd.org/ 
Washington, DC   Feb 13-17, 2013
Abstract paper: “A Review of Theoretical Frameworks Explaining Formal Mentoring Relationships”; Thanks to my co-author Mariya Gavrilova-Aguilar who will be presenting

iConference 2013  http://www.iconference.ischools.org/iConference13/2013index/
@iSchools & UNT Host, Fort Worth, TX   February 12-15, 2013  Follow:#iconf13   Our #UNT Social Media Expo team (Andrew Miller, Leila Mills, Mark Evans & I) qualified for the grant from Microsoft Research FUSE Labs on our paper: “Towards a Methodology of Virtually Augmenting a Knowledge Sharing Community of Practice: A Case Study of the Local Food System of Denton, Texas”


South by Southwest (SXSW) Education Conference & Festival http://sxswedu.com/
Panel Discussion: Social Media in Higher Ed – where are we going? with @Bcroke, @tjoosten, & @bradpopiolek
Austin, TX  March 4-7, 2013  Follow: #sxswEDU

Emerging Technologies for Online Learning – Sloan C http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2013/et4online/welcome
Las Vegas, NV   April 9-11, 2013   Follow: #et4online                               @et4online Conference Planning committee; graduate student instigator/encourager

 

Futures of Academic Publishing: UNT’s 4th Symposium on Open Access https://openaccess.unt.edu/symposium/2013

May 30-31, 2013   Dallas, TX


NACADA 2013 International Conference http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Events-Programs/Events/International-Conference.aspx
Maastricht, Netherlands   June 5-7, 2013
Workshop: Communication 2.0 Plans: Effectively Engaging Students Online
*Possible poster and panel session involving the #AdvTech survey and Social Media in Higher Education research.*

10th Annual Sloan Consortium – Blended Learning Conference & Workshop http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2013/blended/welcome 

Milwaukee, WI    July 8-9, 2013

Invited Workshop: Supporting Blended Learners’ Need to Develop Social and Connected Skills Through Digital Pedagogy

Let me know if you will be attending, presenting, or frequenting any of the above conferences. I expect to meet up with the usual [professional/scholarly] suspects I collaborate with, and I look forward to new colleague connections and learning during this conference season.

AcAdv, nacada

#UNT InHouse: Portrait Gallery

A couple weeks ago I was featured in the UNT InHouse Portrait gallery for my one of many hats I wear on campus. Here’s a bit more about the Portrait Gallery and my interview for the online publication:

It’s not possible to know everyone on a big, busy campus. So InHouse periodically publishes Portrait Gallery features to help us learn about our colleagues and their contributions to the university’s success. Send suggestions for Portrait Gallery subjects by email to InHouse with “Portrait Gallery” in the subject line.

Portrait Gallery: Laura Pasquini, Academic Counselor
Laura Pasquini helps students find an academic home as a mentor for undeclared majors. She’s also the first UNT representative to be chosen for the Emerging Leader Program with The Global Community for Academic Advising.  

What is your official title, and how long have you been at UNT?

I am an academic counselor and instructor for the Office for Exploring Majors in Undergraduate Studies and I have been working at the University of North Texas since June 2009.

What is your background?

I have been supporting students as an academic advisor/counselor with major or career decision-making since fall 2003. I have been fortunate to support a variety of student populations at Niagara University, Miami University, University of Toronto Scarborough, University of Texas Arlington and UNT. Before joining the new office for exploring majors team, I was an academic advisor with the College of Business Advising Office.

What will you do as a mentor?

I was selected as a mentor for the Emerging Leader Program with The Global Community for Academic Advising for the 2012-2014 class. As a mentor, I will collaborate with other advising professionals and faculty within the association from other institutions. I will help emerging leaders develop their connections to the advising profession, encourage leadership opportunities, assist colleagues in working toward their professional goals and give back to the professional association that has helped me thrive personally and professionally.

Has any of your experience at UNT helped you prepare for this position?

Both as an academic advisor in the College of Business and in my current role, I have been fortunate to connect with students, staff and faculty to support my own personal and professional development. As a former executive officer and member of the University Counselors Advisors Network, I was able to collaborate, learn, and connect to a wide variety of ideas that will enhance my mentoring. Most recently, I had the opportunity help coordinate the Spring 2011 Advising Retreat, the UNT Advising Conference and the Advisor Spring 2012 training day. I appreciate interacting with and learning from a variety of staff and faculty who love working with students on a daily basis.

Are you the first UNT representative to be a mentor for the Emerging Leader Program?

I am the first person at UNT to be an ELP Mentor; however Carol Pollard, senior counselor in the College of Music, was part of the inaugural ELP cohort in 2007-2009 as an Emerging Leader.

What do you do as an academic counselor for undecided majors?

The Office for Exploring Majors supports students in their journey to learn more about their major/career options. As a counselor, I help support students who are undecided, undeclared and uncertain about their degree options. We often work with new students who want to learn more about their academic choices; however we frequently work with students who want to change their major or transition to another path. I enjoy providing academic/occupational resources and information to empower our students to make choices, and support them in their exploration.

What commonalities/differences do undeclared majors share?

Our undeclared/undecided students are very intelligent, bright and interested in a number of options. These students often have too many choices and are undecided to allow some time to explore majors, meet faculty, understand degree requirements and discover more about their own interests. Over the last year, I have come to really appreciate the interest and enthusiasm that our students bring to the First Year Seminar, during workshops, or  counseling.

Lisandry Ortiz, left, and mentor Laura Pasquini, academic counselorDo you have success stories?

A recent one would be with Lisandry Ortiz, left, who was in my First Year Seminar class Fall 2011.

Lisandry came into the class with different ideas about her major/career from her family, friends and others. During the course of the semester and in her first year, Lisandry went out to interview professionals, research occupational trends, and tried out a few classes to help her find her direction that would be best for her. She was interested in Biology, English, Creative Writing, Journalism, Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Studies with a double minor in Kinesiology and Addictions.

Although she had a challenging second semester at UNT, Lisandry managed to stay on top of her studies and credits the connections to friends and resources from the first year seminar class.

I am happy to say that Lisandry has earned junior class standing and has officially declared Rehabilitation Studies as her major with the College of Public Affairs & Community Service.

Along with her academic progress, Lisandry is working on campus as a housing ambassador in Maple Hall and she is now an Office for Exploring Majors Student Ambassador who will support undecided students with their major/career journey.

#AcWri, LPQ

Learning and Performance Quarterly, 1(2) is Published

As the founding student editor for the Learning and Performance Quarterly, an open, online peer reviewed journal, I am excited to share with you the second issue. This publication has an eclectic mix of ideas and research for a wide array of academic disciplines in the learning, training, development and performance industries. As, indicated in my editorial, I think that there is great value to be shared outside of our professional silos.

I hope that you enjoy reading this issue as much as I did during the production phase. There are a number of concepts and resources shared within these articles for professionals in education, instruction, leadership planning, and training and development. Many thanks to the contributing authors, peer reviewers and section editors who made great efforts to produce this publication over the summer months. I appreciate the attention to details and edits during the summer months.

For those who want to contribute, review, or follow along — be sure to check out the LPQ Website, Follow @LPQuarterly on Twitter, or “Like” the LPQuarterly on Facebook. We are always interested in adding to our repertoire of peer reviewers and editors – please register for the LPQ journal and let us know how you would like to contribute to this open, scholarly publication.

Here is the Learning and Performance QuarterlyVol 1, No 2 (2012) — Table of Contents and Abstracts for the current journal contributions.

Editorial
Leadership, Training, Mentoring, and Instructional Design (1) [PDF]
Laura A. Pasquini

Abstract: The second issue of the Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ) is filled with submissions that span a wide scope of interests.

Case Studies
Developing a student leadership retreat using instructional design
techniques (2-29) [PDF]
Dr. Melissa L. Johnson

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to describe how the Morrison, Ross, and Kemp (2007) instructional design model was used to design a student leadership retreat. An overview of instructional design and the Morrison, et al. model is provided. The application of the model to designing the retreat is then described in detail, including the learner and task analysis, development of instructional objectives, sequencing and materials, and formative evaluation. Finally, the implementation of the actual retreat, including summative evaluation procedures is provided.
Research Articles
Mentoring and Middle School Teachers: Using Subjective Affective Measures as
Performance Indicators (30-46) [PDF]
Dr. Ray K. Haynes

Abstract: This paper presents findings from a research study examining mentoring, organizational commitment, work alienation, and job satisfaction, among middle school teachers (n = 352) in large urban school district. Survey data obtained using a quantitative research design suggest that  formal and informal mentoring is occurring within middle schools and middle school teachers perceive both types of mentoring to be effective. Results of regression analyses suggest that ratings of formal mentoring effectiveness had stronger relationships to organizational commitment, work alienation, and job satisfaction than effectiveness ratings of informal mentoring.   Further analysis suggests that the predictor variable, as measured by ratings of mentoring (formal /informal) effectiveness, had statistically significant positive associations with the mediator and dependent variables. Implications are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

Concept/Theory Paper
Cross cultural training and success versus failure of expatriates (47-62) [PDF]
Ashwini Esther Joshua-Gojer
Abstract: The past few decades has seen an explosion in research on expatriates and cross-cultural training. There has been controversy and an unending debate on the goals, effectiveness, implementation and processes of CCT. There are very few reviews that have condensed literature detailing the best practices of CCT. This review also details the success and failure of expatriates. The antecedents or moderators that play a role in the evaluation of success and failure have been outlined in this literature review. It also brings to light certain solutions that will make CCT more effective and provides directions for future research.

Creative Leadership: Does It Clash Across Cultures? (63-82) [PDF]
Seogjoo Hwang
Abstract: As international competition, technology advancement, and the knowledge-based economy increases, creativity is becoming increasingly critical for the success of organizations all around the world. While leadership or support of individuals’ immediate leaders is one of the most potent factors impacting individual creativity, the majority of previous studies examining the relationship between leadership and creativity were conducted in Western contexts and only few studies investigated the cross-cultural aspects of leadership and creativity.

This study explores the connection between traditional creativity research and cross-cultural leadership research, building toward a conceptual framework proposed for further discussion and ultimately testing. Conceptual links between participative leader behaviors, individualism-collectivism, power distance, and creativity are examined. Implications for leadership development in order to enhance organizational creativity in an international HRD context bring this article to a close.

Book Review
Social Media for Educators (83-84) [PDF]
Laura A. Pasquini

Abstract: Social Media for Educators is an excellent book that interweaves theory, applications, and current pedagogical experiences for learning environments. For those in the learning and performance industry, this book provides insights and ideas to help guide social media use for both educators and learners. Joosten provides current examples, benefits, and considerations throughout each chapter. Whether educators are beginning to design their learning curriculum or learners are considering social media for organizational development, this book presents helpful insights and experiences that will potentially influence and shape effective engagement and learning with social media.

Collaboration, Professional Development

How Do You Cultivate Mentoring Opportunities?

During our session at the #UNTAdv12  Conference last week, our panel hosted a discussion on the topic of mentoring in higher education. We talked about what formal and informal mentoring looks like on our college and university campuses, specifically to support our faculty, develop our staff members and engage our students students. Here are the key words that were shared during the discussion:

It is important for campus communities to consider the potential of mentoring. There are a number of benefits to supporting mentoring at a college or university. Some might be interested in connecting our students to their learning environment, while other institutions might be interested in helping new faculty transition. A number of mentoring programs provide return on investment for employees, which includes increased retention, career development, and professional engagement. By developing a culture of mentoring, organizations have the ability to increase collaborative learning and support sustainable leadership.

What sort of mentoring is happening on your campus or within your organization? Please feel free to add your mentoring program or resources to the open google doc: http://bit.ly/MentoringMatters