What is the AWC Mentor Program?
The AWC Mentor Program is primarily designed to help new faculty adapt to the challenges of their new job at Arizona Western College.
Who Participates in the Mentor Program?
During the first semester, a new full-time faculty member is paired with an experienced faculty member who acts as a resource person to share information about the college, teaching, classroom mangagement, or other subject matter as needed.
In addition to new faculty, other faculty members may request a mentor for assistance with a new assignment such as teaching over the ITN.
Who Are Mentors?
Mentors are experienced faculty, both full-time and adjunct, who demonstrate a positive attitude about AWC, the College's mission, and their own life. They are skilled and proven instructors with exemplary communication skills. They are individuals who are willing to share information, display patience, diplomacy and resourcefulness, and are willing to accept the responsibiity of helping someone grow professionally.
Full-time and adjunct faculty who have taught for a minimum of four semesters at AWC are eligible to be considered to be mentors. Every spring, the Director of the CTE asks Division Chairs (DC) and Program Directors (PD) to identify as potential mentors experienced full-time faculty, who have taught at AWC for at least 4 semesters. The DC or PD asks the full-time faculty if they would serve as a mentor for the following fall semester. If the faculty agrees, the DC or PD assigns the mentor to the new full-time faculty (= mentee). The mentor does not necessarily have to be in the same division as the mentee. Only faculty in non-supervisory roles can serve as mentor.
How Does the Process Work?
The mentor contacts the mentee during the first week of the semester to set up a planning meeting. Together a mutual plan is developed for the semester. This includes an exchange of classroom observations.
The mentor/mentee relationship is informal and reflects an attitude of colleagues helping each other. It is never a supervisory relationship. A critical part of the semester of mentoring is the classroom visit done by the mentee in the mentor's classroom and visa versa.
At the end of the semester, mentors of full-time faculty are awarded a small stipend for their efforts once all the requisite paper work is submitted to the CTE.