Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Become a mentor or mentee today

As I learn more about my new region in NACADA, I've come to learn that it's pretty special.  I've meet some highly dedicated and pretty involved folks and learned that in many ways, Region 2 is leading the way on a number of important NACADA initiatives.  So, when I sat down with Bruce Norris to discuss the Region 2 mentoring program, it came as no surprise that we were the first region to implement such a program and many regions are now following suit.  Hopefully, after you learn a little more about the program, you'll be interested in participating yourself.

Can you tell us a little bit about the program?
It was modeled somewhat after Emerging Leaders and designed as a way for people to become more active in our region. It provides a way for new advisors to link up with experienced advisors who can provide guidance, new perspectives and someone to bounce ideas off of.  I try to match up individuals from similar institutions and geographic areas.  It's nice to have someone outside of your organization to talk and exchange ideas with.
What's the commitment like?
We usually have 15-20 pairings a year (1 mentor to 1 mentee) and the amount of time they spend in mentoring related duties depends entirely on the connection.  At the regional conference, we'll have a mentor/mentee reception so that participants in the program can meet at least once face-to-face.  Since the program is not as structured as Emerging Leaders, in the past, participants usually exchange e-mails a couple times a month.  However, starting this year, I'm going to provide a few prompts over the course of the program to encourage additional discussion. 
How do I get involved?
All conference attendees with more than 3 years of experience are invited to become mentors and attendees with less than 3 years of experience, mentees.  Advisors who'd like to participate should respond to e-mail that was sent out about the program earlier this week or contact Bruce at
What's the best part for participants?
Being able to expand your personal network is always a plus.  Mentors and mentees usually tell me they've become better professionals because of their participation in the program and everyone seems to really enjoy the reception during the conference.
What you most looking forward to at the conference?
The professional networking opportunities are one of my favorite parts.  I like to see what others are up to and I especially enjoy hearing about advisors who work with programs similar to mine [professional studies degree programs].

 Bruce Norris is the Director of Professional Studies at West Chester University. He has been coordinating the NACADA Region 2 Mentoring Program for about 3 years. He can be reached at

1 comment:

  1. Do this, folks! I participated in the Mentor program as a mentee at my first conference back in 2006. By the time appetizers had been cleared from the dinner table on the first night of the conference, my mentor and her colleagues (Ruth Hussy, Terry Musser and the crew from Penn State), had identified that Advising and Social Media was to be "my thing." I presented on the topic at the regional the following year (2007) and at every regional and national since.
    Drink the koolaid, folks!