Mentoring Faculty of Color.Report as inadecuate

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Minorities are underrepresented in the departments of education at institutions of higher learning. This underrepresentation is due to more attractive opportunities in other fields, rigorous promotion and tenure requirements, and isolation of minority professors. This paper asserts that cultivation of mentoring relationships between senior members of faculty and faculty of color can lead to the increased retention of minority professors. After defining mentoring, the paper examines formal and informal mentoring relationships. Formal mentorships are managed and sanctioned by the organization. Informal mentorships are spontaneous relationships that develop without external involvement. Some of the many functions of a mentor include: providing training, stimulating knowledge acquisition, providing emotional support and encouragement, inculcating by example a value system and professional work ethic, providing visibility and exposure, and modeling excellence in teaching. Mentoring may be same- or cross-race. In cross-race relationships, mentors should be aware of their basic beliefs and world views, understand cultural differences surrounding perceptions of one's own power status, and recognize differences in communication and conflict management styles. Though research highlights the benefits of mentoring relationships for proteges, these relationships may also benefit the mentors and organizations in which they work. (Contains 20 references.) (SM)

Descriptors: College Faculty, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Diversity (Faculty), Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Mentors, Minority Group Teachers, Preservice Teacher Education, Teacher Collaboration

Author: Singh, Delar K.; Stoloff, David L.


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