'Nobody's Talking to the Mentees': Exploring the Concept of Mentorability
The Chronicle of Mentoring & Coaching, Vol. 2, November 2017, Special Issue 10
7 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2018
Date Written: October 1, 2017
Although extant research supports the notion that college- and university-sponsored mentoring programs are effective in academically transitioning and retaining postsecondary students from a variety of sociocultural backgrounds (Gershenfeld, 2014), no research examines how mentoring programs solicit, recruit, and evaluate the potential “mentorability” (Reddick, 2014) of their mentees. Employing Riffe, Lacy, and Fico’s (2016) quantitative content analysis, this study augments Crisp et al.’s (2017) recent work, examining postsecondary mentoring program websites (n = 187) at public, four-year institutions in Texas (n = 44). Findings suggest only 19% of all mentoring programs address “mentorability” by outlining mentee reciprocity and defining mentee characteristics and expectations, compared to 37% of all mentoring programs which define mentor characteristics and expectations. Furthermore, mentoring programs are four times more likely to address their mentors (1,023 occurrences) than “mentees/protégés” (237 occurrences), speaking to the lack of focus on mentee “mentorability.” Implications for practitioners and future research are addressed.
Keywords: higher education, mentor, mentee, mentoring, retention, transition
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