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Peer Mentoring 101: Standing on the Shoulders of Ordinary People Brian Poser, Associate Director Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students Fourth.

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Presentation on theme: "Peer Mentoring 101: Standing on the Shoulders of Ordinary People Brian Poser, Associate Director Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students Fourth."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peer Mentoring 101: Standing on the Shoulders of Ordinary People Brian Poser, Associate Director Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students Fourth Edition: April 4, 2011

2 Acknowledgements Portions of this presentation are based on the work of: –Lynda Tam, Faculty of Fine Arts York University and –Martha Rogers, Faculty of Health, York University. With acknowledgement to some folks on whose shoulders I’ve had the pleasure of standing. As ordinary as they are, they are far from ordinary: –Dr. Greg Malszecki -- Dr. Peter Paolucci –Dr. Harvey Mandel -- Dr. Marc Wilchesky –Barb Brown -- Dr. Beverly Muir –Judy Libman

3 Learning Outcomes By participating in this session, students will be able to: Summarize the benefits of peer mentoring Locate mentoring in Leadership Identify their mentoring strengths and needs Understand the roles of mentor and mentee Appreciate the importance of boundaries in the mentoring relationship Apply their learning to upcoming mentoring experiences

4 Part 1: Benefits of Peer-Peer Mentoring

5 What do you see as the benefits? In groups of 3 or 4, briefly discuss what you see as the benefits of peer to peer mentorship relationships. What are the benefits to the protégé? What are the benefits to the mentor? How does mentorship impact the student experience? What impact does it have broadly at YorkU? How does mentoring connect to leadership?

6 *Anecdotal benefits of mentoring Impact on student experience Creates sense of belonging and support Contributes to academic success Contributes to relationships/networking Contributes to sense of community Impact on YorkU Contributes to culture of success Builds awareness of resources

7 What does the research say about peer mentorship outcomes? Ferrari (2004) Improved academic performance Improved academic self-efficacy Improved satisfaction with academic programs Brown, David and McClendon (1999) Ability to make a career choice and increased persistence to achieve goals Sosik and Godshalk (2005) Improved interpersonal communications Improved psychosocial support

8 What does the research say about peer mentorship outcomes? Jacobi (1991) Increased maturation and academic responsibility Improved time management Fox and Stevenson (2006) Improved academic performance Increased acquisition of transferable skills Improved social relationships

9 The “real” value of mentoring One of the enduring outcomes of the mentoring relationship is the awareness that the mentor is but one influence along the protégé’s journey. Accepting that useful inputs may come from a variety of –sometimes unexpected-- sources, including one’s peers, is a key discovery in one’s learning.

10 How does mentoring connect to leadership? Answering this question depends on how you define leadership. Mentoring has touch points with Reciprocal Leadership Models in so far as it is relational, shared, and collaborative and oriented to empowerment. Mentoring also has touch points with the Social Change Model of leadership in that it is premised on intentional, socially responsible change, and works from a core of self- awareness, commitment and common values towards the betterment of one’s community.

11 Part 2: Small group discovery: Selecting a Mentor

12 Why have/be a mentor? Again in small groups, take a few minutes to discuss and write down why you want to have or be a mentor. If you’re seeking a mentor, why do you want to have a mentor? If you’re considering being a mentor to someone else, why do you want to be a mentor?

13 What are you looking for in a mentor? What specific qualities are you looking for in a mentor? List your top 3-5 qualities. What specific qualities do you hope to share as a mentor? List your top 3-5 qualities. How do the qualities you listed compare with your group mates’ answers?

14 The practicalities of selecting a mentor If there is not a formal program in place that facilitates connecting protégés and mentors, the key is: networking, networking, networking Ask those you trust for help identifying individuals who meet your criteria for a mentor. Look for someone who is genuinely interested in the issues that you are and who is a good fit for you.

15 Part 3: Making good use of your Mentor ’s Experiences

16 Setting expectations for Mentor and Protégé Roles Mentor Roles: Listen Share experiences Foster skill building Refer and network Be one of many influences Protégé Roles: Active participant Retain critical faculties Seek new capacities, not just knowledge Remain open to multiple influences Own responsibility for success

17 Mentorship as a reciprocal experience The best mentorship relationships are characterized by: Honest, two-way exchange Respectful debate on differing views Critical assessment of ideas A leveling of the power gradient Mutual and unconditional acceptance Respect for limits and boundaries

18 A word on boundaries If you do not set strong boundaries, many of the benefits of the mentoring relationship are lost. The parable of the butterfly Mora’s story Hilary’s story

19 The Parable of the Butterfly A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day, a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as though it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So, the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

20 The Parable of the Butterfly What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

21 Take it or leave it… Mentors and protégés share responsibility for setting the agenda Protégés remain the decision makers. When it comes to information, opinions, suggestions, activities etc., mentors and protégés remain free to “take it or leave it” without the fear of reprisal or the diminishment of the relationship

22 What? So what? Now what? As mentors seek to support the development of their protégés, the following sequence of question can serve as a useful guide: –What? –So what? –Now what? By applying these questions, the emphasis is placed on prompting protégés to actively guide their own processes of discovery

23 Final Thoughts When they work well, mentoring relationships foster a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in both parties. Where they don ’t work well, it is important not to take it personally; sometimes a prospective mentor and protégé just aren’t a good “fit”. Be ready to move on if need be.

24 Thinking challenge Consider the points we ’ve covered in this presentation. How do you see applying these ideas to your experience as mentors in the upcoming academic year? Are there any ideas about which you are unsure or want to think critically?

25 References and Resources Brown, M., David, G. and McClendon, S. (1999). Mentoring graduate students of color: Myths, models, and modes. Peabody Journal of Education, 74 (2), Chickering, A. and Reisser, L. (1993). Education and Identity, 2 nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Ferrari, J. (2004). Mentors in life and at school: Impact on undergraduate protégé perceptions of university mission and values. Mentoring and Tutoring, 12(3), Fox, A. and Stevenson, L. (2006). Exploring the effectiveness of peer mentoring of accounting and finance students in higher education. Accounting Education: An international Journal, 15 (2), June, Jacobi, M. (1991). Mentoring and undergraduate academic success: A literature review. Review of Educational Research, 61,

26 References and Resources Ottawa County Michigan State University Extension. (1997). Mentor Manual. East Lansing: Michigan State University Extension. Copyright 1997 by Michigan State University Board of Trustees. Retrieved from Boundaries.pdf. April 4, Boundaries.pdf Rogers, M. (2007). Peer Mentoring and Student Success. Presentation made at Peer Mentoring Sharing Event, York University, December, Sosik, J. and Godshalk, V. (2005). Examining gender similarity and mentor’s supervisory status in mentoring relationships. Mentoring and Tutoring, 13(1), Tam, L. (2007). Mentor Handbook: Fine Arts Student Ambassadors and Mentors. Faculty of Fine Arts, York University.


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