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Effective mentorship is critical to the retention and lifelong success of graduate students. As a mentor, the time you spend with your graduate students has the potential to be one of the most impactful relationships of their time at ASU and have continuing effects throughout their lives.
The world our graduate students are entering is changing in everything from career pathways to workplace conventions and social norms. With it, the expectations and needs of our graduate students have shifted. Mentorship in the twenty-first century must encompass not only the support of our students’ academic, intellectual, and professional development needs, but their psychosocial ones, too. Our campuses are increasingly complex environments. Data shows that to be most effective, our mentorship strategies must acknowledge the multiple identities, backgrounds and circumstances that factor into the personal wellbeing and therefore the academic success of our graduate students.
The Graduate College has identified four key ways in which mentorship affects the experiences, perceptions and outcomes of graduate students
The success of our graduate students depends upon the strength of the connections and relationships they form within our institution. When focused around building academic self-efficacy, professional guidance, and development of support networks, mentorship can dramatically bolster graduate student persistence. Mentorship provides an orientation to the expectations and norms of academia and the professional world, and helps graduate students solidify their developing scholarly identities. The presence (or lack) of motivational resources and support (including faculty mentorship) is a stronger predictor of graduate student persistence than student aptitude and is a key factor positively influencing persistence and degree completion.
Specific mentoring roles and strategies are a matter of individual preference. Some faculty are naturally comfortable building social relationships with students, while others prefer a strictly professional dynamic. Similarly, every student has unique mentoring needs – whether strictly academic guidance, professional role modeling or emotional support – and will respond to mentoring approaches differently.
Regardless of your personal mentoring style or philosophy, an essential component of mentorship is being able to connect your students to the tools they need to succeed.
The resources compiled here provide an orientation to the resources available to mentors and graduate students at ASU. Among these resources are training opportunities and programs designed to help you better understand or support your students, resources graduate students should be aware of as they navigate their academic and professional identities and pathways, and networks and opportunities for graduate students seeking greater involvement within the graduate student communities.
Graduate College mentoring resources — The Graduate College’s GradConnect professional development initiative maintains resources for faculty, students and staff on graduate and peer mentorship.
ASU mentoring resources — ASU supports student mentorship on multiple levels. The Graduate College recommends the following resources for both faculty and graduate students looking for additional mentoring opportunities, training and networking.
Additional ASU support resources — As a faculty member, you have many resources available within the university to assist you in supporting the success of your graduate students. These include the following:
See our comprehensive resource list here.
For more information on research literature on mentorship and mentoring outcomes, the Graduate College recommends the following peer-reviewed sources here.