Mentoring Communities

Research indicates that teachers and scholars develop successful careers more rapidly when expectations for successful performance are explicit and intellectual strengths and career development are supported.  One strategy by which new faculty members can learn information essential to successful careers is to establish a mentoring relationship with a more experienced faculty member. We have adopted what is referred to a Mutual Mentoring model for our program, acknowledging that each faculty member has expertise and experience that they contribute to a mentor group.

While many units at GVSU assign individual mentors to new faculty, we have developed two complementary programs in which small groups of faculty from a wide range of disciplines come together in a mentoring relationship. 

One mentoring opportunity we provide is the First Year Faculty Mentoring Community, open to all full-time faculty in their first year at GVSU. A second opportunity is the Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring Program, open to faculty beyond their first year at GVSU. 

First Year Faculty Mentoring Communities

The First Year Faculty Mentoring Community is a university-wide program designed to acculturate new faculty to GV and to provide robust teaching support and general information on scholarship, service, and career planning to all new faculty. 

New Faculty Outcomes

Through participation in this Mentoring Community, new faculty will:

  • Address first year faculty teaching challenges with evidence-based strategies
  • Gain familiarity with GVSU resources for faculty, students, and families
  • Learn from and with faculty from across disciplines and the university
  • Practice work-life balance approaches known to improve the experiences of new faculty and have lasting impact throughout a faculty career
  • Establish short-term and long-terms goals for scholarship, teaching, and service

Format and Scheduling

An experienced faculty member serves as a mentor to groups of 6-12 new faculty. Each session centers around a particular topic but the content is flexible and responsive to the group members.

Groups meet for one hour, six times per semester. Readings, discussion prompts, and supplemental materials are available on a New Faculty Blackboard site.

Topic Overview

  • GVSU resources for faculty - including internal and external funding resources
  • Learner-centered teaching; how student learn
  • Engaging learners with active and collaborative learning
  • Rubrics, formative feedback, and helping students become self-directed learners
  • Leading effective discussions in class and online
  • Faculty roles: teaching, scholarship, and service
  • Educational technologies at GVSU
  • Making sense of student ratings of teaching
  • Library resources and services
  • Personnel portfolios & integrative statements
  • Advising as teaching
  • Career planning and work-life balance

Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring Program

The Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring Program is geared toward faculty beyond their first year:

  • Faculty in their second through sixth years at GVSU are invited to join the program, meeting in groups of six or so with an experience faculty mentor.
  • Most groups meet over coffee or a meal for about 1.5 hours, four times each semester.
  • Each mentoring group receives $250 for the year for food and any supplies (yes to books, no to alcohol).
  • We provide suggestions for possible meeting topics, but mentors have the freedom to bring in articles, plan field trips, invite guest speakers to the meetings, etc.
  • The groups are considered a safe space for discussion of any topic relevant to GVSU and faculty life. Confidentiality is a given. As such, mentees are matched with a mentor outside of their own academic discipline.

For additional information about either of these programs, please contact us at

Digital Badge: To earn a badge associated with this mentoring groups and for more information about the FacultyBadges@GVSU Initiative, visit this site

Page last modified February 2, 2018