Developing Mentoring Programs in Engineering and Technology Education

Developing Mentoring Programs in Engineering and Technology Education

Catherine A. Hansman (Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJQAETE.2016040101


Mentoring relationships have long been viewed as essential to encourage the career development of engineering and technology students. The purpose of this article is to examine and analyze the concepts of shared power, self-directed learning, critical reflection, and potential for transformative learning in mentoring models and programs, exploring research and models that reflect these concepts in their program design and “curriculum” for mentoring. The article concludes with an analysis of mentoring models and suggestions for future research and practice for mentoring in higher educational institutions engineering and technology programs that may lead to active and transformative learning among mentors and protégés in these programs.
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Defining Mentors And Formal Mentoring Programs

The terms “mentor” and “advisor” are sometimes used to discuss helping relationships in institutions of higher education; however, in this article, advisor and mentor are not interchangeable and each describes distinct roles in relationship to work with students. An Advisor is “a person (not necessarily a faculty member) who is typically assigned to the department or program to meet with the student, to provide advice on degree plans and what courses to take, and address other academic issues or concerns” (Mullen, 2008, p. 270). Mentors may also fulfill some of the duties of advisors described above, but on the other hand and at least for the purposes of this article, mentors are those faculty members or peer students who can help prepare students for their future careers and work in academe. The work of mentors or peer mentors may include activities such as chairing or serving on thesis or dissertation committees, guiding students through research processes, co-writing research articles or refereed conference presentations, giving feedback on other engineering or technology projects, and engaging in discussions or other activities that might help students understand and engage in the work needed to prepare for their future careers.

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