This component has proved helpful in early-career FLCs, where the role of partner is played by an experienced faculty mentor. For recommendations for establishing a successful mentoring program for such FLCs, see Cox (1997). Helpful memos and support material are on the FLC website. The memo welcoming new mentors is linked here.
In Miami’s FLC Preparing Future Faculty, the partners for TAs have been faculty mentors on Miami’s regional campuses.
In other types of FLCs, partners can be engaged by pairing members in the community. This has been the case in Miami’s Senior Faculty Learning Community for Teaching Excellence, where participants pair as in the New Jersey Partners in Learning (Katz & Henry, 1993). Other partners might include a colleague in administration, in K-12, in business, or at another institution.
Who is available and matches your needs?
- See the following:
Faculty/Staff Teaching Resource List
One or two mentors?
If only one, inside or outside your department?
- Inside: Content expertise but narrow perspective, confidentiality issues
- Outside: Broader perspectives; safer to reveal weaknesses
How do you ask?
- Invite candidate to lunch
- Go with your comfort
How often, when, where to meet?
- Every 3 weeks, office exchanges, over lunch
What topics for discussion?
- FLC seminar topics, university politics, P & T advice
What about classroom, videotape exchanges?
- Use videotapes when you have schedule conflicts
Do protégés need to nudge?
Create a meeting calendar at the start of the term
Time slippin’, slippin’ away...
This project has been supported in part by grants from the US Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) and the Ohio Board of Regents.