Talking to the Mentees: Exploring Mentee Dispositions Prior to the Mentoring Relationship
The Chronicle of Mentoring & Coaching, Volume 2, Special Issue 1, 2018
7 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018
Date Written: October 15, 2018
This study explores how postsecondary mentoring programs address mentee dispositions prior to the mentee entering the developmental relationship; in particular, how mentee dispositions are valued across mentoring program types, including peer, student-to-community, student-to-faculty, and faculty-to-faculty programs. Employing a quantitative content analysis, we examined 280 institutional U.S. postsecondary mentoring websites across four different institution types (public, four-year; private, four-year, non-profit; private, four-year, for-profit; public, two-year) and four different mentoring program types (peer or student-to-student, student-to-community, student-to-faculty, and faculty-to-faculty programs). Findings reveal 18.6% of programs articulated mentee dispositions prior to entering the reciprocal relationship. When mentoring programs did address mentees, most programs articulated mentor duties aligned with mentee expectations (47.5% of programs) and program outcomes for mentees (65.7% of programs) rather than what the mentee can and should bring into a developmental relationship. Ultimately, most mentoring programs valued mentee professionalism, open-mindedness, communicativeness, and responsibility, although there were marked differences in valued mentee predispositions across institution types and mentoring program types. The research team suggests a wealth of future research, including how mentee predispositions are valued across program types and how mentors perceive mentee predispositions prior to the developmental relationship.
Keywords: mentees, mentoring, higher education, college, university, relationships
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