In response to interest expressed by student members, the Division 45 Student Committee has developed a mentoring program to connect Division 45 graduate students with professional status mentors.
The Division 45 mentoring steering committee seeks to align future practitioners, researchers, and scholars with a diverse collection of professional and academic APA members.
The mentorship program is dedicated to increasing access for students of diverse ethnic, racial, gender, and identity statuses into professional and academic fields.
The Division 45 Mentorship Program connects psychologists in training with professional mentors in the field. This mentorship program is flexible and has been designed to meet the diverse needs of both our mentees and mentors. Potential mentees and mentors complete a brief survey and provide details related to the type of mentoring relationship they would like to have. For example, we consider each person’s discipline, preferred mode of communication, specific topics they are comfortable discussing, and even their preferences in social identities when making mentorship assignments. We take great care in reviewing mentee and mentor needs so that we can make the best possible pairings!
Currently, the mentoring program has successfully matched over 40 students with long term mentors!
Establishing a Mentoring Relationship
Once the surveys have been completed and the mentorship committee has paired a student with a professional, both parties are notified via e-mail and are expected to make contact with one another within the first week. During this initial “meeting” (via phone or internet based on your preferences) the mentorship pair sets up the parameters of their mentoring relationship and schedules their subsequent meeting times. The steering committee is available throughout this process to facilitate and/or troubleshoot any issues, should they arise.
On an annual basis, mentors and mentees will complete a progress report. At this point they update the committee on their satisfaction within the mentoring relationship. Some mentoring relationships are intended to last for one year, others are set up to last as long as the mentee and mentor are both available. As such, the annual progress reports also provide a formal mechanism for terminating or extending mentoring relationships and/or for requesting new mentees and mentors.
- Maintain open communication.
- This can include letting the mentee know when you are available to talking about your experiences in graduate school, practice, or research.
- Establish expectations.
- Set goals.
- Check for understanding.
- Sometimes mentees may feel uncomfortable expressing their concerns and confusion. Making time for the mentee to express confusion and ask questions let’s the mentee know that you are open to questions and willing to backfill knowledge
- Consider your mentoring philosophy.
- What are the most valuable skills a mentee should leave with and how will you help foster those skills?
- Evaluate progress regularly.
- Are you on track to meeting your goals? If not, how can you alter the goals or your plan to help the mentee get back on track?
- Remember to talk about the positive things you notice as they arise. Students don’t know what you are thinking, so when you notice that they are exhibiting good research practice or professional skills, tell them!
Compiled by the Division 45 Student Mentoring Team
Links and Shoulders Graduate Student Mentoring Hour is an annual graduate student mentoring event held at APA Convention and sponsored by Division 45. Graduate students and Division 45 mentor volunteers gather to informally discuss issues of interest to students, with time-limited, speed mentoring program format. In a supportive and safe environment, students who are typically under-represented in psychology graduate programs visit tables where mentors discuss specific topics such as interviewing for clinical internship, strategies for publishing your article, success in academic and teaching careers, and navigating bias in graduate school. Links and Shoulders is an important mentoring program and a highlight of events for graduate students to attend. We hope to see you at next APA Convention!
For more information please contact Patrice Leverett and Della Mosley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
University of Washington: http://www.grad.washington.edu/mentoring/students/
Handelsman, J., Pfund, C., Miller Lauffer, S., & Pribbenow, C. (2005). Entering mentoring: a seminar to train a new generation of scientists. Ethics in Science and Engineering National Clearinghouse, 164.