The New School Mentoring Grants Program

The Mutual Mentoring Concept

Mutual Mentoring, a model that emerged at universities in the last decade, is grounded in a vision of mentoring as a broad network of support in which faculty draw on the expertise of many. Faculty members develop collaborative relationships, becoming "mentoring partners" who have something to teach one another. As important as the concept of mutuality is the concept of multiplicity, in which a faculty member draws on the advice of multiple mentors within and outside of the institution. In choosing mentoring partners, faculty members can include colleagues ranging from senior experts to early-career practitioners. They can also work with other professionals within and outside of the academy such as administrators, librarians, editors, and curators. Creating a network of mentors means that no single individual needs to possess all of the expertise related to research, teaching, tenure, and other areas. This network allows faculty to select mentors who will play a developmental rather than an evaluative role in their careers.

The Mutual Mentoring model is well suited to the needs of New School faculty. The nonhierarchical nature of the mentoring relationship is aligned with the progressive philosophy of the institution. This model also helps meet the mentoring needs of faculty members in interdisciplinary or niche fields and those underrepresented in the academy, who may lack opportunities to identify mentors with similar expertise or background at The New School. Although mentoring relationships can and do arise naturally, these grants help faculty become proactive in their own career development and in creating their own mentoring networks.

The Provost's Office is committed to ongoing evaluation of the program and is open to suggestions on improving it as the program evolves. The Mutual Mentoring Initiative, developed by the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is the model for New School Mentoring Grants. For additional information on the Mutual Mentoring model and on ways to find a mentor and build a network, see the National Education Association (NEA) website.

Information on applying for a grant.

 

 
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